As parents, we pass down so much of ourselves to our daughters and sons: Our genes. The color of our eyes. Our sense of humor. The memories of our own childhood. But sometimes, children inherit their parents’ darkest traits — and the most tragic parts of life.
As an opioid NAS lawyer Memphis TN trusts, I have seen the impact of this unprecedented crisis. The opioid epidemic, which claims far too many lives each day, affects the youngest and most vulnerable members of society. Mothers addicted to this highly powerful class of drugs — which includes heroin as well as legally prescribed opioids such as methadone and oxycodone — are directly passing their drug dependencies to their babies, before those babies are even born.
Babies whose mothers use opioids during pregnancy may be born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS. Just like food and oxygen, drugs are passed to the unborn baby through the mother’s bloodstream.
Babies born with NAS can experience severe withdrawal symptoms during their first days of life, including:
- Slow weight gain
- Trouble breathing
They also face a mortality rate 2.5% greater than babies born without NAS.
Big pharmaceutical companies paved the way for the opioid crisis — and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
The opioid crisis began about twenty years ago, when pharmaceutical giants like Purdue aggressively pushed their new products, downplaying the side effects and deliberately minimizing their potential for addiction.
In 1996 alone, the total number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in America jumped by over ten million. The number of babies born addicted has increased exponentially, too. According to Florida’s Agency of Health Care Administration (AHCA), there was a 173% increase in the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in the state from 2003–2006. That’s just a glimpse into a crisis that affects our country as a whole.
It’s taken time, but the companies responsible for the epidemic are finally being held accountable. Purdue and the state of Oklahoma just agreed to a $270 million settlement.
Purdue’s executives knew early on that OxyContin, which they “launched” in 1996, had the power to destroy lives. Upon its release that year, the company’s owner, Dr. Richard Sackler, gleefully predicted that the drug’s release would generate a “blizzard of prescriptions” to bury all all the competition. Earlier this month, Memphis became the latest city to take legal action in response to the crisis. The City is suing 21 pharmaceutical companies over the significant increase in opioid prescriptions.
Memphis’ lawsuit is one of over 1,600 filed by cities, counties, and states across the country. Though we don’t know how all of them will play out, Purdue and the state of Oklahoma agreed to a $270 million settlement this Tuesday, $102.5 million of which will immediately fund a new foundation for addiction treatment and research in the state. As the Washington Post reported earlier this week, this was “the first major test of who will pay for more than two decades of death and addiction. While no amount of money, and no court back, can bring back the lives we have lost, Tuesday’s outcome gives us a reason for hope.
But the tragedy is far from over, and as an opioid NAS lawyer Memphis TN can count on, I am still outraged. Our lawyers are ready to fight for families affected by the epidemic, and by NAS.
Contact us today to speak with an opioid NAS lawyer Memphis TN trusts.
Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC is a law firm Memphis has trusted for over thirty years. We will fight for your rights and make every effort to get you the care and compensation you deserve with the help of an opioid NAS Lawyer Memphis TN can rely on.
Contact us online today or call 901-327-1212 to speak in person with lawyers who can get you the justice you deserve.