The family of a Bel Air man who committed suicide after becoming addicted to a prescription painkiller is filing a medical malpractice suit against his doctor.
Ken Jones was addicted to OxyContin when he shot himself in the chest on March 2003. The painkiller was prescribed to him by his doctor who was treating Jones for back pain.
Before committing suicide, Jones, then 48, had written a note saying that his doctor knew he was addicted to OxyContin but continued to increase his prescription dosage.
The medical malpractice suit is being filed against Jones’ doctor and Hartford Memorial Hospital for negligence and breach of care.
Jones’ wife said she reported her husband’s doctor to the Maryland Board of Physicians three years ago but is still awaiting the results of their investigation. The Board says that they are dealing with a backlog of cases.
Currently, there is no system in Maryland to monitor prescription drug abuse. Maryland lawmakers, however, recently passed a measure for funding.
OxyContin is a narcotic that contains a very strong pain reliever that is similar to morphine and is used for treating moderate to severe physical pain. There has been an increase of reported drug abuse cases and deaths related to OxyContin.
Federal Drug Enforcement Administration: OxyContin may have played a role in 464 deaths across the US from 2000 to 2001.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network says:
– Emergency room mentions of OxyCodone increased 89% between 1993 and 1999
– Recently we have seen an increase of 68% with 10,825 emergency room mentions in 2000
2 Common Signs Of Prescription Drug Addiction:
– Increased tolerance for a drug
– Inability to stop using the drug
Family Lawsuit Claims Malpractice, WBALchannel.com, May 23, 2006
OxyContin Statistics, Narconon of Southern California
Prescription Drug Addiction Symptoms, e-Prescription Drug Addiction.com
Related Web Resources:
OxyContin Q and A, FDA.gov
Prescription Drug Malpractice Errors , Medicalmalpractice.com