Chicago – a 55 year old woman left her doctor’s office in Oklahoma with a prescription for 510 painkillers.
She died the same day of an overdose.
Her doctor, Regan Nichols is now charged and facing five second-degree murder charges. One of the charges is for each patient who overdosed after she prescribed them opioid drugs, such as Oxycontin. This kind of prescription can lead to addiction.
David Clark, a professor of anesthesiology at Stanford University, said “Doctors bear enormous responsibility for the opioid crisis”.
“We didn’t have [a crisis] until doctors became enamoured with what they imagined to be the potential for opioids in controlling chronic pain,” Clark told AFP.
Ninety people die every day in the United States from opioid overdoses.
An estimated two million Americans are addicted to opioid drugs. Many of these addicts are forced to buy pills illegally when prescriptions run out. When some of them are desperate they resort to heroin and synthetic opioids smuggled into the US by Mexican drug cartels
According to statistics since 1999 more than 180 000 have died, including pop icon Prince, who passed away in April 2016 at age 57. This happened after an accidental overdose of fentanyl a powerful opioid painkiller.