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Are Opioid Painkillers Too Addictive to Be Prescribed to Treat Chronic Pain?

Gene Riddle   |  September 8, 2017   |  


Addiction to opioid painkillers has become a nationwide problem. Opioids are meant as a short-term solution to help people treat the pain associated with severe injuries and health conditions. However, more and more, doctors are prescribing opioids to treat chronic pain, which appears to be contributing to the growing opioid epidemic in our country.

Examples of Common Opioid Drugs

There are several different types of opioid painkillers, including:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Morphine
  • Heroin
  • Methadone

The way opioids work is that they bind to a person’s opioid receptors, which enable them to block or at least reduce the pain that a person feels as a result of an injury.

Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed Against Opioid Drug Manufacturers?

Over the years, the medical community has changed from treating pain as a symptom of a medical condition to treating it as a medical condition itself. As such, rather than treating the source of pain, in some cases, doctors are treating pain seriously and aggressively. This change opened the door for big pharmaceutical companies to flood the market with opioids, such as Oxycontin.

From there, drug manufacturers began offering their sales representatives large bonuses to make more opioid drug sales. This led to sales reps targeting doctors, including providing them with lots of free samples of the drugs to hand out to patients. In addition, pharmaceutical manufacturers allegedly released false data claiming that opioid painkillers, like Oxycontin, are not very addictive. In 2007, drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma was found guilty of misleading doctors and patients about how addictive Oxycontin is, including labeling the drug as “abuse resistant”.

As more lawsuits are filed against drug manufacturers, it is becoming clear that America’s opioid epidemic can be traced back to them. These lawsuits are often the best way for opioid narcotics victims and their families to bring negligent pharmaceutical companies to justice.

For more information about opioid lawsuits, contact the North Carolina injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley. You can talk with our attorneys for free, learn about your rights and the best options for you and your family.