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Prescription Drugs and Brain Injury, What are the Risks?

We hear a lot of talk about street drugs and how bad they are for us; how they can result in brain injury and possibly death; but how about prescription drugs, their use and often misuse and abuse. What affect does the myriad of drugs prescribed to us by our healthcare providers for any ailment from “A” to “Z” have on our brain and our physical well being.

There are many different types of drugs prescribed to individuals as part of their normal treatment for illnesses and diseases. Some individuals must take these prescription drugs for long periods of time, and some may have to take these drugs for the rest of their lives. The risk is high that these individuals may eventually become addicted to these drugs over time, in that they will develop cravings for the drug that have nothing to do with the original illness for which the drug was prescribed.

A One Pill Cure-All Society

We live in a society that has a pill for just about every conceivable problem we can think of. There is a medication for weight loss, for weight gain, to stop smoking, to go to sleep, to wake up and they all come with a laundry list of side effects, some of which may be such things as slurred speech, memory problems, poor concentration, irritability and possibly thoughts of suicide. The list of side effects usually comes with the drug but how many of us actually listen to the disclaimer that states, “if you develop these side effects, consult your doctor, immediately.”

Celebrities and Prescription Drug Abuse

There is one thing that people like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Rush Limbaugh, Chevy Chase, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland had in common, and that was their addiction to prescription drugs, whether it was stimulants to help them work longer and harder, or opiates for pain relief. When it came to celebrities, and the “beautiful” people of Hollywood, it seemed that prescription drug addiction came with the territory.

Addictive Pain Killers and Brain Damage

People who suffer from chronic pain are more likely than not to be prescribed painkillers to relieve the pain. Some of these drugs, such as Xanax and Vicodin (depressants), and OxyContin (opiates) are highly addictive and ripe for abuse.

One of the biggest risks for drug dependency and addiction comes with the long term use of prescription drugs. A physical dependency on these drugs can occur even while being treated by a physician. The physician will all too often continue to write the prescription as long as his patient appears to have the illness for which the drug was originally prescribed. But some of these drugs are not only addictive; they may also result in serious brain injury.

A few years ago, an article was published in the British news outlet independent.co.uk concerning a certain drug called benzodiazepines and its link to brain damage. The British Medical Research Council agreed that there needed to be a study to determine what impact, if any, long term use of benzodiazepine drugs such as (1) Xanax, (2) Lectopam, (3) Librium, (4) Valium, to name a few, had on the patient, after a leading psychiatrist discovered that some patients using this drug showed signs of brain shrinkage. See MedicalNewsToday.com
These drugs are in a class of psychotropic drugs that are used to treat a wide range of problems, including insomnia, anxiety and muscle spasms, but how safe are they, and what is your recourse if you or a loved one, after being prescribed one of these drugs, suffers a brain injury as a result of its use.

If You Have Any Questions About Your Rights and Remedies, Levin & Perconti are Here to Assist You

Brain injury leading to either disability or death as a result of brain damage is a very serious matter. To consult with an experienced brain injury attorney on this issue, or if you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury or a brain trauma due to the actions of another, contact Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.