Addiction to the fentanyl pain patch can result in serious adverse health consequences, including accidental overdose and/or death.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was harmed as the result of an unintentional fentanyl overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Ohio Doctor Linked to 28 Fentanyl Overdoses
January 29, 2019 – Dr. William Husel, a critical care medicine specialist and anesthesiologist at Mount Carmel Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio, is being investigated for his role in at least 28 “significantly excessive and potentially fatal” overdoses on fentanyl, a painkiller 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Husel’s medical license was suspended on Friday by the State Medical Board of Ohio, which said the allegations against him were so serious that he was not even allowed a legal hearing before the board’s vote, and can no longer practice medicine in the state.
What’s the Problem?
Fentanyl addiction tends to occur either due to the euphoric effects it produces during normal prescribed treatment, or due to the availability of stronger versions which produce a greater effect when mixed with street drugs like heroin or cocaine. What often starts as appropriate pain management can quickly turn into an addiction without the individual recognizing they are taking the medication for non-medical reasons.
Opioid Use Disorder
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) recognizes a condition known as opioid use disorder. Per this criteria, a fentanyl addict would technically be considered to have the condition, whose symptoms may include:
- More fentanyl is taken, or it is taken for a greater length of time than initially intended (i.e., the slippery slope from recreational narcotics use to addiction).
- The individual has the ongoing desire to stop abusing fentanyl, or at least cut down on the abuse, but is unable to do so.
- A significant portion of one’s day, energy, time, and money is used to obtain fentanyl, abuse it, or recover from its use.
- The person has urges or cravings to use fentanyl.
- As a result of the ongoing fentanyl abuse, the person is not able to adequately meet obligations at home, work, or school.
- Even though the fentanyl abuse is causing various problems, the person continues to abuse this narcotic.
- The person withdraws from or reduces participation in work, social, recreational, and other opportunities to abuse fentanyl.
- The individual continues to abuse fentanyl even when there is awareness of the dangerous situations that arise, such as drugged driving.
- Use of fentanyl continues, even though it is causing or exacerbating a psychological or physical problem.
- The person develops a tolerance to the drug – the natural process whereby the body demands more of a drug in order for the person to experience a high similar to that of an earlier period of use.
- Withdrawal symptoms occur when the fentanyl use stops or the familiar dosage is decreased (symptoms discussed in further detail below).
Fentanyl Addiction Symptoms
Symptoms of addiction to fentanyl are similar to those caused by any habit-forming drug:
- Physical dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Poor judgement
- Risky behaviors such as stealing, lying, engaging in unsafe sexual activity, selling drugs, or crimes that could land the person in jail.
- Financial trouble
- Neglect responsibilities
How to Get Help if You Have a Problem With Addiction
Contrary to what your Aunt Tilly might have told you, drug addiction isn’t a character flaw or a sign of weakness in a person, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that make sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems. With the right treatment and support, however, change is possible. The road to recovery is often a winding one. But by examining the problem and thinking about change, you’ve already taken the first step.
Do I Have a Fentanyl Addiction Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in fentanyl addiction lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you experienced negative effects from a fentanyl overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.