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Can doctors be held accountable for opioid addiction?

In the last few years, the number of opioid overdose deaths has climbed significantly across our country. Last year, 3050 people in Ohio died as a result of opioid overdose. An incredible 74 percent of those who died in 2015 had a prescription for controlled substance in the past.

Ohio is trying to fight opioid addiction with new guidelines for physicians when it comes to prescribing opiates. Doctors cannot prescribe narcotic pain pills for more than seven days for adult patients and five days for minors. It is estimated that these new guidelines will reduce the amount of pain pills dispensed by 109 million in Ohio each year. The state medical leaders and the governor said that the new guidelines are meant to cut down on short-term pain prescriptions.

There are times when doctors can prescribe opiate pain pills for longer than seven days. However, the reasons must be in the patient's records. Each time a doctor prescribed a controlled substance, he or she will also need to include a procedure or diagnosis code. That code will be put into the state's prescription monitoring program.

We understand that opiate prescriptions are often the only way that some people can find relief from chronic pain. If a patient has been taking an opiate for years in order to live with his or her pain and the prescription is suddenly stopped, can the physician be held accountable for what happens to that patient?

At the Law Offices of Gary Osborne & Associates, we want to help those who are suffering because of medication errors. We have more information on our website about these and other doctor errors in order to help you think about your legal options.

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