Drug overdoses are perhaps not as uncommon as you may think, even when the drugs are being used under the control of a medical professional. It’s been known and reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that overprescribing medications is a major cause of abuse and overdose deaths within the United States.
The CDC reports that 44 people die every day due to overdoses as a result of prescription painkiller use. Some may have taken more than a typical dosage to help relieve pain, but the fact of the matter is that physicians allow these medications to be prescribed, and some are prescribed in combination with drugs that could be potentially harmful or deadly to the patient.
Sometimes, medication errors take place, which is when the wrong medication is doled out in place of the prescribed medication. Here’s an example: Imagine you’re given a prescription for ativan an anxiety medication that requires two pills one time a day. Instead of receiving a low-dose medication as prescribed, you receive two high-dose pain relievers that look similar. When you take the pain reliever, thinking it’s anxiety medication, along with over-the-counter pain relief, you accidentally overdose.
This may seem like an extreme example, but the truth is that it can happen very easily. Some drugs have similar names, and others look similar. It’s important to review the medications you’ve received for errors, and if you do receive the wrong medication and suffer an injury, make sure you speak with your attorney about your options for compensation. The medical community needs to be held responsible for a standard of care that doesn’t allow for mistakes that put patients’ lives in danger. Our website has more information on medication errors, so you can become educated in the next steps to take after you’ve been injured.