The whole point of the prescription medication system and controlled substances laws is to limit public access to medication that people could abuse or that pose any sort of risk to the public. However, physicians also want the medication they prescribe to be convenient and easily accessible for their patients, meaning they may prescribe a month’s worth of medication at a time.
Unfortunately, for some controlled substances like painkillers, a month’s worth of the prescription could actually represent a fatal amount of the drug. If a physician prescribed too much medication to your loved one and they overdosed or died as a result, you may have grounds to hold that physician accountable for their dangerous medication practices.
Different circumstances present a risk for over-consumption of medication
Any drugs that create dependence or addiction in users and also create tolerance or a need to take a higher dose for the same effect can drastically increase someone’s risk of an overdose. However, there may be other factors that leave someone at risk for an overdose, including a history of suicidal ideation or extreme depression.
Refilling a month’s worth of a sleeping medication for someone who has recently spent time in a psychiatric facility for an attempt at suicide is as irresponsible as giving a month’s worth of fentanyl to somebody with a history of drug-seeking behavior.
In cases where doctors engage in this behavior habitually, they could face criminal charges for their role in people’s deaths or overdoses. Regardless of whether the government prosecutes a physician who over-prescribed, family members of someone hurt by a physician’s lackluster medication policies can potentially hold that doctor responsible.