With national attention increasingly focused on opioid abuse in America, we continue to learn more about the true magnitude of the crisis. Opioid misuse has now reached the level of a Public Health Emergency, with millions of Americans battling addiction to prescription painkillers and seeking help from pharmaceutical negligence lawyers.
According to recent data, approximately 90 people in the United States die every single day from opioid overdose, and more than 2 million people are currently struggling with prescription opioid abuse. Abuse of prescription opioids also leads to use of illegal opioids, as people begin to experience difficulty obtaining prescription refills and fight against the crippling feelings of withdrawal. An estimated 6 percent of people who abuse their prescription opioids go on to use heroin, and a startling 80 percent of heroin users report taking prescription opioids first.
In addition to the physical and emotional damage, opioid abuse has also had tremendous financial impact on our country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates the annual economic burden of opioid abuse in the United States has reached $75 billion and continues to climb. Included in this estimate are costs of medical treatment, creation and maintenance of addiction programs, lost job productivity, and criminal justice intervention.
The Reason Behind the Numbers
We believe the opioid crisis is at least in part rooted in the drug manufacturers’ spread of misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of prescription opioids, as well as concealment of the extreme addictiveness of these painkillers. Manufacturer conduct combined with inappropriate prescribing practices led to an absolute explosion of both legal and illegal opioid painkiller sales and use.
Giving the Numbers a Voice
As families cope with addiction, loss of loved ones, and life-altering injuries, they are looking for answers and for justice. Goza & Honnold’s experienced product liability attorneys are currently investigating prescription opioid painkiller cases, and our firm offers confidential case consultations at no cost to you.