It’s no secret that opioid painkillers are destroying American lives every day. Our nation’s opioid crisis has been declared a national public health emergency, and more and more cities, counties, and states are filing major lawsuits against the manufacturers and distributors of prescription painkillers every week.
The drugs being targeted by these opioid lawsuits are the ones that get commonly prescribed every day. They’re names we’re all familiar with—oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and fentanyl. All are legal and heavily controlled, but still widely available. Some, like fentanyl, are even illegally manufactured and traded.
When most of us think about the consequences of becoming addicted to opioid painkillers, we think about life-altering withdrawal symptoms, dangerous side effects, the inability to get relief from chronic pain, and the possibility of relapse. The risk of relapse, especially, is extremely dangerous when it comes to opioids since it’s estimated that 3 out of 4 heroin users start out using prescription opioids.