Faruqi & Faruqi LLP Discusses Opioid Lawsuits And Settlements

The opioid crisis has been a major issue in the United States for several years now, and it’s only getting worse. The addiction rate is climbing steadily, and so are the number of deaths from overdoses. Faruqi & Faruqi LLP feels that more people become addicted to opioids and suffer from withdrawal symptoms following detox as each day passes. They’re left struggling to find a way out of the cycle that they’re trapped in – one that often leads them back into addiction or even suicides as time progresses. 

Many of these people that become addicted to opioids are instead given prescriptions for them by doctors. Opioids are highly addictive and extremely hard to kick, even with the assistance of detox facilities. This leads many individuals down a dark path where they have no other choice but to keep abusing their prescription painkillers to avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms.

Once this becomes an addiction, it can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars each month – all coming directly out of their own pocket. It’s estimated that roughly one-third of all Americans who suffer from opioid addiction also have health insurance plans that don’t cover substance abuse treatment, including any required medications or therapies.

What are Opioids?

Opioids are strong pain medications that work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and other organs in the body. They’re prescribed for patients with severe or chronic pain who require round-the-clock care, including people recovering from surgery, car accidents, and military service injuries.

Unfortunately, many of them turn to street drugs like heroin when they can no longer afford their prescription medication – often leading to addiction or even overdose. Some addicts may not find a dealer selling their drug of choice, so they turn to more dangerous alternatives instead. Faruqi & Faruqi LLP says opioids can also be highly addictive without being physically harmful, which makes the likelihood of abuse much higher than it is for most other types of medication.

What is an Opioid Detox?

The withdrawal symptoms of opioids are so uncomfortable that many people try to avoid them by topping off their dosage continuously. However, this only serves to prolong the addiction, and soon they’re left incapable of getting out of bed without a dose. They can’t pay for any more prescriptions, so they have no choice but to try and detox at home. Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult – especially without help from medical professionals or even loved ones who want to see them succeed. The opioid withdrawal symptoms are some of the most severe, making it one of the hardest addictions to get through.

How are Opioids Abused?

There are several different ways that opioids are abused, including:

  • Snorting the drug
  • Inhaling the powder or applying it to one’s gums
  • Dissolving the drug and injecting it into the bloodstream
  • Smoked, even if they’re designed for oral consumption only

When mixed with depressants like alcohol, opioids can be especially deadly. The results are often fatal overdoses that claim far too many lives every day.

Over-Prescribing of Opioids

In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies went to great lengths to convince the medical community that addiction to Opioid Pain Relievers would not become a problem. This, unfortunately, led many doctors to prescribe them to patients who suffered from chronic pain liberally – often without keeping track of how many pills were being taken or for what reasons. Faruqi & Faruqi LLP found that according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 183,000 people died between 1999 and 2015 due to overdoses related to prescription opioids.

Opioid Lawsuits & Settlements

Many states are now taking action against the companies that produce these drugs. Several state and local governments have filed lawsuits claiming that pharmaceutical companies knew how dangerous their drugs were but continued to market them as “safe for treating chronic pain.” They also claim that manufacturers spent millions on misleading advertisements that downplayed the risks of addiction.

With opioid abuse at an all-time high, along with an ever-increasing death toll attributed to it each day, there are several state and federal lawsuits currently pending against drug manufacturers regarding deceptive practices involving their drugs. The CDC has even gone so far as to say that they misinformed doctors and the public about how effective and safe opioids were – leading many people down a path of addiction without ever knowing it.

Opioid Class Actions

Since several different manufacturers are involved, most of which have different drugs on the market with varying chemical compositions. Their alleged wrongdoings all fall under unique class actions, according to Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP. A lawsuit was filed by Ohio against five drugmakers for flooding communities with prescription painkillers, despite knowing the dangers associated with them and their potential for abuse. A judge has ordered that the trial begin on October 26, 2017, and is expected to last for several months. 

A $1 billion settlement between lawyers representing 25 US states and drugmaker Insys Pharmaceuticals makes a fast-acting fentanyl spray approved for managing cancer pain. The state of Oregon filed a lawsuit against them after they became aware of audio recordings in which representatives from the company were heard telling physicians they could prescribe it to non-cancer patients.

Final Thoughts

While these lawsuits may help some people seek justice for what happened to them or their loved ones, far too many continue to deal with an addiction that spiraled out of control because of deceptive practices by pharmaceutical companies that put profits ahead of patient safety.

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