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Opioid Abuse

Opioid Epidemic Regarding Birth Defects, Drug Overdose and Abuse

The United States has declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2015 there were 33,000 deaths involving opioid use. Opioids are commonly prescribed due to their high success rates, but combining high success rate with their extremely addictive nature causes severe withdrawal and high dependence due to tolerance. Opioids are also prescribed without the manufacturer relaying their highly-addictive nature. Evidence also strongly suggests that long-term use of prescription opioids can cause birth defects in newborn children.

Currently, there are a growing number of lawsuits being filed around the country against prescription opioid manufacturers that may have withheld information from the public regarding the heavily addictive nature of the painkillers and the effects that they have on pregnant women, newborns, or long-term users. These lawsuits may help force drug manufacturers and physicians to better warn patients about the addictive nature of opioids.

Effects of Opioid Use in Pregnant Woman

Babies born to opiate-dependent women are twice as likely to suffer from poor growth rates or be stillborn. Birth defects also have a higher chance of occurring including:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Neural Tube Defects
    • Spina Bifida – a condition that causes the fetal spinal column to not close completely. The baby is normally born with permanent nerve damage.
    • Chiari Malformation – This causes the brain tissue to develop in the spinal canal.
    • Anencephaly – The brain and skull do not fully develop. These babies are normally born stillborn or die after birth.
  • Clubfoot – The infant’s feet are turned inward, and this normally requires multiple surgeries and can cause the child to lose the ability to walk.

Research also found that opioid-dependent women are almost 5 times as likely to die during hospitalization and have longer hospitalization stays than pregnant women who do not take opioids.

Birth defects can cause a child to suffer or even die when they are young, and many are affected their entire lives. In the case of birth defects caused by opioid use, these can be prevented. By educating pregnant women on the addictive nature of opioid painkillers, expected mothers could avoid the use of these drugs.

Ask Now

Let’s Discuss Your Opioid Lawsuit Case

You may have a case for damages from these harmful drugs, and the first step for justice begins with your simple call to Lowe Eklund Wakefield to see if you have a case.

If you or someone you know or love has a child born with  birth defects from the following drugs, it’s time for someone to advocate on your side. Call us today or fill out the form below to talk with one of our licensed attorneys about your case.

  • Vicodin
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycet
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Roxicodone
  • Roxybond
  • Troxyca ER
  • Xartemis XR
  • Xtampza ER
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Norco
  • Lortab
  • Lorcet
  • Buprenorphine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Palladone
  • Tylox
  • Demerol
  • Fentora
  • Ionsys