Can I Sue the Military for Over-Prescription of Pain Medication?
Addiction and abuse of pain medications – particularly opioids – has become a serious health crisis in the United States. As such, much of this crisis is believed to have been fostered by the over-prescription of addictive pain medications by doctors throughout the country. Can you sue your medical providers for over-prescribing pain medication? The short answer is yes. Read on about the complexity of these types of VA medical malpractice claims or contact us for a free legal consultation.
Do VA Hospitals Over-Prescribe Pain Medications?
Military personnel, veterans, and retirees have not avoided this prescription addiction epidemic. Military and VA hospitals have been among the medical providers who have participated in over-prescribing opioids and other pain medications.
Abuse of Pain Pills in Military and VA Hospitals
Military and VA health care facilities have many factors that increase the risk of over-prescribing pain medication to patients. For example, VA hospitals are responsible for caring for veterans and military retirees and their spouses as they age. The medical conditions that occur with aging, such as arthritis or osteoporosis, often lead to ever-increasing chronic pain.
However, many military and VA hospitals are understaffed, leading overworked healthcare providers to take shortcuts in treating patients’ chronic pain by simply prescribing pain medications. But providers often fail to monitor their patients’ pain medication use, leading to addiction and drug-seeking behavior.
Military and VA hospitals are also tasked with treating wounded warriors. Although training and war injuries may be stabilized, wounded warriors can be left with lingering pain. Again, too many military and VA healthcare providers turn to prescription pain medications to help ease the chronic pain of military personnel, especially with powerful and highly addictive opioid medications.
Medical professionals are expected to exercise care when prescribing narcotics to treat pain. These powerful drugs should only be used sparingly, and prescriptions should not be open-ended. Continuing to prescribe addictive pain medications without frequent evaluations of the patient may constitute military medical malpractice.
Injuries Caused by Over-Prescription of Pain Pills
Over-prescribing pain pills and other powerful medications can lead patients to suffer from long-term injuries and medical conditions, including:
- Drug addiction
- Internal organ damage
- Increased risk of birth defects in children
- Cardiovascular disease
- Stroke and heart attack
- Disability or paralysis
Long-term abuse of prescription drugs can lead to a high risk of death due to damage to the body caused by drugs or from an acute emergency such as an overdose.
Lawsuits Against the Military for Over-Prescription
If a veteran, military retiree, or their family member has been over-prescribed medications by providers at a military or VA hospital or healthcare facility, it may be possible to hold the military liable for injuries that result from abuse or addiction to over-prescribed pills.
Holding the military accountable often requires showing that military or VA doctors committed malpractice by over-prescribing medication. While some cases of over-prescription can be shown through the number of pills a doctor prescribed to a patient over a specific period of time, other cases may prove to be more nuanced. This is especially true when claiming negligence due to a doctor’s failure to take a patient off an existing prescription that may have initially been medically warranted. The medical malpractice lawyers at Bertram Law Group will review your medical records and look for the signs of malpractice during your treatment with the VA.
Contact the Military Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Bertram Law Group
If you’ve been harmed due to addiction and abuse of prescription drugs that you were initially given under treatment from a military or VA medical provider, contact the dedicated attorneys at Bertram Law Group, PLLC in Washington, D.C. today for a free, confidential consultation. We’ll explain your legal rights and explore options for seeking recovery and accountability for your suffering that may have been caused by negligence and malpractice.