Drug abuse is a dependency on addictive chemicals, including drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. Once abusers develop tolerance for drugs, they require increasing amounts of it to experience the same effects, or “high.” Experts in the drug abuse specialty can be psychologists, psychiatrists, or biologists, and work to help their patients overcome their dependence on drugs. One of AME’s drug abuse expert witnesses has written an exclusive medical malpractice article that we have provided, for your interest, below. Narcotic Overdose – Medical Malpractice Narcotic injections are frequently used in hospitals to control pain, sometimes augmented with the use of tranquilizing medications. However, tranquilizing drugs in combination with narcotics will increase the risk for respiratory depression. That is, they chemically narcotize the breathing centers in the base of the brain (the medulla) and can stop the patient’s breathing. If this is not recognized immediately, death ensues. Elderly patients and children are more susceptible to the respiratory depression side effects of narcotics and tranquilizers. The frequency of injection should be not closer together than every three hours, and the dosage and cumulative effect of combinations of medications must be taken into consideration by both the ordering physician and the treating nurses, both of whom have independent duties to protect patients
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