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Overdose deaths result in malpractice suits for veteran

Opiates are very serious drugs that can result in heart attacks, lethargy, and brain damage if they're abused. In this case, a man has died with what might be considered medical malpractice, and his family now has to deal with the pain and suffering of knowing he may have been mistreated. Ohio residents might be concerned with this report, especially with the amount of veterans returning home on similar prescription plans.

According to a report from Oct. 4, a 32-year-old veteran of the US military had been ordered to detox from his addiction to the painkiller oxycodone. At the time of detoxification, the man was allegedly given 19 prescription medications as well as 12 pills of oxycodone. He was surprisingly released from the VA hospital in Roseburg for the weekend following a short few weeks of treatment, but then, sadly, the man was found dead from a drug overdose just three hours after his release. His death may have been due to brain damage or cardiac abnormalities; neither has been determined.

It might seem unfathomable that the VA hospital would release a man struggling with addiction along with a plethora of pills, but the easy access to narcotics is not uncommon, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. According to their report, the four major opiates -- oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, and morphine -- have been used more over the past 12 years with an increase of 270 percent.

In this man's medical files, it was reported that he was only really awoken to take his medications; he was once even rushed to the emergency room after falling out of bed. This could be because of "appearing to be overly sedated," like was described in one nurse's report.

This sad incident is not uncommon, and if you think you've been mistreated or have lost a loved one to medical malpractice, it's important to look at all your options for justice.

WFPL, "VA's Opiate Overload Feeds Veterans' Addictions, Overdose Deaths" Aaron Glantz, Oct. 04, 2013

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