September 28, 2014, hundreds of “Fed Up!” family members and
friends marched toward the White House to protest the number of people
dying from prescription drug overdoses in this country,
Washington Post reported.

One hundred people die from an opioid overdose each day, per the
CDC. About five Ohioans overdose each day, according to Healthy Ohio.

In 2013, the president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing
(PROP) told that these statistics amount to a “public
health emergency.” PROP and Fed Up! urged the FDA to reclassify
hydrocodone as a schedule II drug, so patients would have to see their
doctor every 30 days for a refill. October 24, 2013, the FDA announced
that it would begin the process in December. But the very next day, the
agency announced that it had approved an extended-release hydrocodone
product called Zohydro.

“It’s a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush
capsule,” PROP’s president told
CNN. “It will kill people as soon as it’s released.”

November 22, Congress
Stephen F. Lynch and other members sent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius a letter asking her to review the matter.

More than two years ago,
CBS News said “the Obama administration is ‘laser-focused’ on
stopping [opioid overdoses].” But, WP said last week, “The
increasingly activist groups of grieving parents and bereaved spouses,
doctors, drug-treatment counselors and researchers blame the Obama administration
and federal regulators for failing to curb lucrative pharmaceutical industry
efforts to expand the use of narcotic painkillers, known as opioids, such
as oxycodone and hydrocodone.”

New Study Says People Unprepared for Prescription Drug Overdose

“Although teens and young adults who abuse prescription painkillers
face a high risk of overdose, most don’t know how to respond when
one occurs,”
WebMD reported October 2.

One researcher said part of the problem is that study participants assumed
that since Vicodin and Oxycontin are prescribed by a doctor, they aren’t

However, “nearly all of those interviewed said they knew someone
who had experienced a fatal or nonfatal overdose, or had experienced an
overdose themselves,” the article stated.

Earlier this year,
NY Times contributer and ER doctor Robert S. Hoffman said overdoses usually occur
over a one- to three-hour time span, and the person is usually thought
to be sleeping. A shot of naloxone could prevent such a death.

The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Board
of Health both began offering free naloxone kits on Fridays last year, per
The Plain Dealer. Both facilities offer training on how to use them, and the Board of Health’s
kit comes with a step-by-step DVD. Naloxone only helps those who’ve
overdosed on prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, Oxycodone, hydrocodone,
and Vicodin. “It has no affect on those who overdose on cocaine,
methamphetamines or alcohol,” writer Diane Suchetka said.

If you believe a doctor overprescribed an opioid to a loved one who overdosed, attorney
Chris Mellino welcomes you to
contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation before Ohio’s statute
of limitations expires on your potential claim. You may also download
Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide,
Your Ohio Medical Malpractice Questions Answered, read
testimonials, and learn about previous
case results.