Prescription drug overdose death rates have more than tripled in the past 12 years. Three out of four OD’s are caused by prescription painkillers–opioid pain pills. A hundred people every day in the US die from prescription drug overdoses. Sometimes, the prescribing doctor or pain clinic is at fault.
These pain killers cause physical dependence and sometimes addiction. They slow down a person’s breathing, and can cause the breathing to stop, resulting in a fatal overdose. Any doctor prescribing painkillers should require the patient to sign a “narcotics contract,” which requires the patient to take the medication as directed, among other things. These narcotics cont4racts also require the prescribing doctor to follow certain rules, like not refilling a prescription over the phone, regularly monitoring the patients, and so forth.
Failure to have or to follow a narcotics contract can subject a physician or pain clinic to liability in the case of an overdose or death.