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Prescription Drug Use and Accidental Deaths in South Florida

Prescription drugs can be dangerous in a number of ways. Some drugs have not been properly tested for safety. Other drugs may be deadly when combined with other prescription medications. Patients with some existing medical conditions may be particularly vulnerable when put on a prescription medication. Prescription drug users who are under the influence are another threat to motorists on the road.

With the number of existing and hidden dangers involving prescription medication, safety advocacy groups, government agencies and other medical professionals are urging an overall prescription medication review to prevent accidents and injuries. Our <a href="Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys are dedicated to preventing prescription abuse and ensuring patient safety.

The National Safety Council announced recently that 47 states must improve their existing standards to reduce the number of deaths caused by prescription error. The National Safety Council is a non-profit organization focused on raising awareness of public health issues. In addition to providing insight into dangerous issues and trends, the organization also works to help legislators and other groups through research, education and advocacy.

According to the NSC, doctors must take immediate action to reduce the number of deaths involving prescription drug use. This requires additional oversight when it comes to what medications are being prescribed, how the patients are monitored, and how doctors make certain drugs available, especially pain killers that can be sold illegally to non-prescribed users.

In addition to the dangers faced by prescribed patients, prescription drug abuse is rampant and creates a host of other public health risks, including addition and overdose. According to reports forty-five people die every day from an overdose, indicating that more patients are killed by prescription drugs than other illegal drugs, including cocaine and heroin. While many parents may be concerned about street drugs, they should also be concerned that their teenagers have access to and are abusing prescription medication.

Drug use has long been a health risk to Americans but legislators have focused efforts on curbing the use of alcohol and other illicit street drugs. Unfortunately, the rates of prescription drug abuse have been the cause of thousands of overdoses and accidental death every year. While users without a prescription can be held criminally liable, it is often difficult for law enforcement agencies to track the drugs to specific doctors. One way to curb the abuse of prescription drugs is to reduce the distribution of medication and ensure ongoing monitoring of patients and habits.

Health and safety advocates argue that the prescription drug epidemic is more dangerous than motor vehicle accidents and accounts for more accidental deaths. The NSC is urging action on a state level to curb prescription rates. State leadership and advocacy groups are working to reduce the number of fatalities caused by painkiller prescriptions. Other methods of prevention include education and treatment programs.

The report indicates that the majority of states have failed to meet NSC standards and additional action must be taken to prevent future injury and accidental death. In the event of an overdose or motor vehicle accident, doctors can be held accountable. If a doctor has overprescribed a patient or failed to monitor the use of prescription medications or combinations, he or she could be held liable. An experienced advocate can review any case involving prescription injury or overdose and identify responsible parties.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Freeman Injury Law for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-561-7777.

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, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 4, 2013

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