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Prescription Drug Abuse a Common Side Effect of Personal Injury Treatment

Kim Staskus Sept. 30, 2018

The most significant drug crisis in the United States right now involves a class of drugs that are initially legally obtained for consumption: prescription painkillers. These opioids are typically used for treating chronic and severe pain, with some of the most common being OxyContin and Vicodin.

The big problem with the widespread use of these drugs in clinical settings is that they are highly addictive and can cause deadly overdoses. As more patients are taking these drugs to manage their pain, widespread problems with drug addiction and abuse have emerged.

Unfortunately, the reliance on these drugs often stems from incidents out of the control of the person taking them, including injuries suffered in accidents caused by other people. In this way, the prescription drug abuse crisis in America is very much linked to personal injury accidents. That’s why many legal scholars believe drug abuse should be a more prevalent factor in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims.


A study in 2008 from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute indicated that workers who receive high doses of opioid painkillers stay out of work up to three times longer than those who take lower doses. This means that the person taking the higher dose will have to seek more compensation for his or her lost wages and is also at risk of becoming addicted to the drug.

Once individuals become addicted to narcotics, they begin to develop a resistance or tolerance to the drug, resulting in a need to take increasingly higher doses to get the same effect. The more of the drug they take, the more sedated they become and the more it affects their ability to work. For those who seek help, rehabilitation is necessary to help the person overcome the addiction and return to a state that allows them to work once again.

If you develop an addiction due to taking a prescription painkiller for an injury suffered in an accident, you may be able to seek compensation through a personal injury or workers’ compensation claim. Consult a skilled San Jose personal injury lawyer with Staskus Law Firm, P.C. for more information. Call (408) 479-5822 or contact us online.