The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search instagram avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner
Skip to main content
Firm’s Prescient Warning of Fentanyl Dangers Become Tragic Reality

Partner with Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp Personal Injury Law Firm

Way back in August 2013, our law firm published numerous blogs and articles warning people of the significant safety risks associated with fentanyl, an extremely powerful prescription pain medication. In 2013, our Virginia wrongful death law firm was mainly concerned about fentanyl “pain patches” being overprescribed to patients and leading to a spike in accidental overdose deaths.

Our firm made repeated public pleas, including writing a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, imploring action on the availability and use of fentanyl as a pain remedy. Below is an overview of the blogs and articles we have published on this tragic topic:

Present Day – Fentanyl Use is Much Worse and More Deadly

Fast forward to present day and, unfortunately, the safety risks and incidents of accidental overdose associated with fentanyl remain omnipresent and, by all accounts, are much worse. For example, there has been a sustained increase in the rate of accidental drug overdoses and most medical experts attribute the protracted spike to the use of opioid fentanyl, according to Yahoo News.

“If not for the pandemic, this would be the public health emergency of our lifetimes,” said Dr. Jason Graham, the chief medical examiner for New York City.

Dr. Graham and his colleagues have had an unfortunate front row seat to the havoc wrought by fentanyl. There were close to 2,700 accidental drug overdose deaths in New York City in 2021, which is the highest total of drug overdose deaths in at least two decades. If that was not bad enough, the death toll in 2022 is expected to be even higher. On average, New York City has a fatal drug overdose death every three hours.

“I’ve been in this field now for over 20 years, and I have never seen anything like this,” said Gail Cooper, a forensic toxicologist.

The same disturbing trend is taking place at a national level. For example, deaths from accidental drug overdoses spiked nationally to record-breaking levels in 2021, nearing 108,000 lives lost, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cocaine Laced with Fentanyl

One of the biggest drivers of fentanyl-related accidental drug overdose deaths is when fentanyl is combined with heroin and/or cocaine. This deadly concoction made national headlines in July 2022 when 26-year-old Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died due to overdosing on a combination of cocaine and fentanyl.

What You Can Do

There are organizations now offering assistance to individuals struggling with fentanyl withdrawal and addiction. A myriad of civil lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of fentanyl. For example, our Virginia Beach wrongful death law firm represented two families who tragically lost loved ones after a sudden overdose while using prescribed fentanyl pain patches. Here are just a few safety tips that we recommend to try and avoid becoming another victim of fentanyl:

  1. If you or a loved one was prescribed a fentanyl pain patch, consider asking the doctor to modify the prescription and provide a different, less potent, pain medication.
  2. If you or a loved one decide to use a fentanyl pain patch, carefully review the instructions to ensure the replacement pain patch is not applied until the exact number of hours has passed after the first patch was applied, in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
  3. Never apply a heating pad over the body area where the pain patch is located as that can increase the rate at which the opioid flows from the patch into the bloodstream.
  4. DO NOT apply two pain patches at the same time.

Harmed by a Dangerous Prescription Drug? Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer in Virginia Beach Today

If you were harmed, or a loved one died, due to the use of a prescription pain medication, contact a seasoned and knowledgeable Virginia Beach prescription drug injury attorney to discuss your legal options. The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys with our firm have effectively advocated for many clients seriously harmed due to dangerous or defective products, including prescription medications, and will use all available resources to get you the financial restitution you are owed for your harms and losses.

Comments for this article are closed.