Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Treatment of Opioid AddictionApril 26, 2017
Across the country, people continue to struggle with prescription opioid addiction and the social stigma that goes along with it. Like any drug addiction, opioids can wreak havoc on a person’s life, ruining personal and professional relationships, as well as having serious financial implications if the individual loses his or her job but continues to spend money on more prescription opioids. Efforts to address this issue have been largely unsuccessful, but a prominent medical organization is calling for a major shift in the way addiction is viewed and treated in the United States.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) would like to see medical professionals, law enforcement, and the general public approach opioid addiction as a chronic medical condition, rather than a crime. By treating the addiction in much the same way as one would treat a condition like diabetes or heart disease, the stigma attached to a substance abuse program is removed. Instead of facing criminal charges and possible jail time, the ACP recommends a different strategy that focuses on the public health aspect of this issue.
According to Dr. Nitin S. Damlep, President of the ACP, there should be no social stigma associated with the treatment of substance use disorders. Substance abuse programs should focus on prevention methods and effective treatment for substance abuse, rather than prosecuting the individual and forcing mandatory jail time. Damlep reported that only 18 percent of opioid users get the care they need. This is way below the treatment rates for other chronic health conditions. For example, 77 percent of people who suffer from hypertension received treatment.
ACP Urges Health Insurance Companies to Cover Treatment
As part of their push toward a strategy that considers the opioid epidemic as a public health issue, the ACP is recommending that health insurance plans cover the cost of addiction treatment programs. This would include providing comprehensive addiction education programs, as well as increasing the number of medical professionals who are qualified to treat substance abuse. In addition, the report seeks greater access to Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids, particularly in the event of an overdose, and the establishment of an effective national prescription drug monitoring program. Because there is so much information available about how addiction affects brain function, there has been a greater level of acceptance of addictive disorders as a disease rather than a sign of personal weakness.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Clients Addicted to Prescription Opioids
If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to a prescription opioid because a medical professional overprescribed you an opioid, you are urged to contact the experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our skilled and compassionate team will examine every detail of your case, including medical records and any treatment you may have received in the past. If we determine that there is evidence of physician negligence, we will hold those parties responsible for their actions and pursue the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.