Can Doctors Be Liable for Prescribing Highly Addictive Drugs?

Prescription drug abuse is an increasing problem in the US, and the medical community has been scrutinized for its role in this epidemic. With the rise in overdose deaths and addiction rates, many have begun looking into the role doctors play in prescribing highly addictive drugs. If a patient suffering from addiction can demonstrate that a physician did not apply the proper standard of care under the treatment circumstances, it is possible to seek legal recourse through a medical malpractice claim.

At Eric Ratinoff Law Corp., we protect patients and consumers. Failure to follow medical standards can make doctors liable for prescribing highly addictive medication, as well as for the continued authorization of refills once an addiction is suspected. We fight to hold medical providers accountable for medical negligence and the harm they cause to patients.

What Are Highly Addictive Drugs?

Highly addictive drugs, also known as controlled substances, are medications with a high potential for addiction. These drugs include opioids, benzodiazepines, and stimulants. While these medications can be effective in managing certain medical conditions, they can also be dangerous when used improperly or without medical supervision.

Over three million US citizens have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD). Once a patient is addicted to pain drugs such as an opioid, it’s very difficult to stop taking them, impacting their quality of life. Some patients may even turn to alternative legal and illegal drugs in an effort to self-medicate.

Liability for Prescribing Highly Addictive Drugs

To determine if a patient’s addiction to pain medications resulted from medical malpractice, the victim must prove that the doctor was negligent and that they failed to meet the medical standard of care during treatment.

While physicians have a duty to provide appropriate medical care to patients, they also have a responsibility to prescribe medications in a safe and reasonable manner. Working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is essential to proving negligence. If a doctor prescribes a highly addictive drug to a patient without conducting a thorough evaluation, monitoring the patient’s use of the medication, or providing proper warnings about the potential risks and side effects, they may be held liable for any harm that results from the prescription.

To prove liability in these types of cases, a medical malpractice lawyer will work with medical expert witnesses who will review medical records and provide testimony as to whether the doctor provided substandard care. They will take into account the following factors:

  • Medical history
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Doctor’s experience and training
  • Doctor’s follow-up with the patient
  • Accepted standard of care during treatment

If the patient has had a medical history of addiction, it may indicate that the treating doctor violated the standard of care. Other factors may also come into play to determine whether a doctor practiced medicine beyond the scope of their training and competence.

Speak With the Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp.

Doctors have a duty to provide appropriate medical care to patients, including prescribing medications safely and responsibly. While prescription opioids and other controlled substances can be effective in managing certain medical conditions, they can also be dangerous when misused or used without proper medical supervision. By following established medical protocols and guidelines, doctors can help reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse.

Speak with the medical malpractice lawyers at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. if you believe your doctor violated the standard of care by prescribing highly addictive drugs that caused injuries and other losses. Attorney Eric Ratinoff fights for the justice you deserve by telling your story with maximum impact. He will advocate for your best interest every step of the way. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (916) 970-9100 or filling out our contact form.