Federal and state controlled substances laws make it a crime for people other than medical professionals to possess or distribute narcotic painkillers. These drugs have a serious risk of abuse and overdose. They can also easily lead to chemical dependence or physical addiction.
Having doctors serve as the intermediary between the public and these powerful drugs should limit the number of people who become addicted to pain management medication. Unfortunately, doctors can contribute to the opioid addiction crisis with inadequate monitoring and aftercare for their patients. Sloppy prescribing practices could be a dangerous form of medical malpractice.
Opioid prescriptions should come with a long-term plan
Whether you had to have surgery and required temporary pain management or suffered a traumatic injury, pain relief may be the only thing that allows you to tolerate the symptoms of your condition. Adequate pain management is necessary for full recovery, but it can also leave people at risk of becoming dependent on their pain relief medication.
Doctors know how addictive opioids are, and they understand the importance of tapering off a prescription. Your doctor should talk with you about how to end your pain relief treatment and adjust their prescription to reflect a lower dose when you get to the end of your treatment. When doctors hand out prescription painkillers without consideration of the risk involved, patients without proper monitoring could wind up abusing their medication or developing an addiction.
Inadequate monitoring and overprescribing of opioids that results in a patient’s addiction or overdose could lead to medical malpractice claims against the physician prescribing the medication. After all, their practices deviated from the established best practices for the industry.