Nebraska Opioid Malpractice Attorney
Representation for Victims of Opioid Addiction in Omaha
The opioid crisis in America is a serious concern for millions of people, and Nebraska residents are not immune to the very real threat that this crisis presents. The first step toward dealing with opioid addiction is education: understanding how opioids work and what they do to a person's brain chemistry. In addition, treatment for opioid addiction is vital to help victims fight back and regain control over their lives.
Helping a loved one deal with opioid addiction is a great start, but you may be able to take action beyond that. Call Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234 to speak with a knowledgeable opioid attorney and discuss your options.
How Opioid Addiction Works
Opioids refer to a class of drugs that work by binding to the "opioid receptors" in a person's brain. These receptors typically respond to chemicals naturally produced by the human body, such as endorphins, which our bodies create to help reduce pain and create a sense of pleasure. Opioids include both legal and illegal drugs: morphine, heroin (diamorphine), oxycodone, hydrocodone, and more.
Legal opioids are often prescribed for patients after serious medical procedures such as surgery or major dental work. They are used to help patients manage pain after, or prior to, surgery intended to reduce or eliminate back or neck pain. They should be taken in relatively low doses and for fairly short periods of time. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, some doctors have been prescribing opioids in large dosages and for very long periods of time that go beyond what is necessary or reasonable, creating a surge in opioid addiction.
Addiction Is a Disease
It can be easy to think of addiction as nothing more than a behavior, but in reality something like opioid addiction truly is a disease. Prolonged taking of opioids, or taking high doses, actually changes the way opioid receptors in a person's brain function. When the brain is no longer functioning properly, this is the very definition of a disease: a malfunctioning organ within a person's body. Overcoming this disease often requires professional help from medical experts, deep support from family members and friends, and understanding from the community. It is very difficult to overcome, but it can be done.
Are Doctors Liable?
Opioid addiction can occur in a number of different ways; for example, addiction to banned opioids like heroin is usually the result of illegally acquiring and using the drug. Addiction to prescription opioids, such as fentanyl, OxyContin, or Vicodin, usually happens because someone was prescribed the drug for serious pain. Since opioids do not treat underlying pain, but only numb the sensations, users need more and more to reach the same level of relief. When a doctor prescribes opioids for an unnecessarily long time, or provides these drugs for a minor pain, gives the wrong dosage, or offers them to a person with a history of addiction, then medical malpractice may have occurred. In this situation, the doctor might be held criminally liable and could be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Are Manufacturers Liable?
Many states across the country have started filing lawsuits against the manufacturers and doctors who have been pushing opioids on the public in record numbers for decades. You may be able to file a similar claim if some form of negligence or medical malpractice has played a part in the addiction of a family member. To determine whether a manufacturer or doctor has been negligent and could be held liable in civil court, you need an experienced Nebraska opioid lawyer to look into your case.
Call us right now at Bottlinger Law L.L.C. at (402) 505-8234, and we'll discuss your situation and talk about the options available to you. Your consultation is free and confidential.
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