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Clinical Negligence

Opiate Dependency

Opioids are a class of drugs that act in the nervous system to produce feelings of pain relief.

Opioids can be prescribed legally by medical professionals to manage severe or chronic pain. However, they have a high potential for causing dependency even when prescribed legally. There is a problem in the UK of overprescribing opioids and signing repeat prescriptions rather than sometimes and in some cases offering better alternatives such as pain counselling and the like which can lead to opiate dependency.

Opioid prescriptions, such as Fentanyl patches and Oramorph should be carefully managed, monitored and reviewed by medical professionals to prevent dependency. Medication reviews must take place annually. Patients should have also been sufficiently warned of the risks surrounding opioid prescriptions. Their prolonged use can cause addiction and cause more pain, including neuropathic pain than they aim to alleviate.

If you have or are suffering opiate dependency as a result of a doctor or other healthcare professional failing to monitor you, offer alternatives or warn you of the risks, then you could have a clinical negligence claim.