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Nursing Home Drug Diversion Lawsuit

Drug diversion is a serious concern across all aspects of healthcare. This includes nursing home settings where the elderly fall victim to this crime. In this article, we look at nursing home drug diversion and how it affects the elderly. If you or an elderly parent are the victim of nursing home drug diversion, what can you do?

nursing home drug diversion lawyer

What Is Drug Diversion?

Drug diversion is the theft or replacement of a medication with the intent to use or sell the medication. Certain medications are more common for thieves to target for diversion. These medications include, but are not limited to:

  • anabolic steroids
  • antidepressants
  • opioids
  • pain killers
  • sedatives
  • stimulants

Why Target The Elderly?

Why do people target the elderly living in nursing homes? There are a couple of reasons. First, elderly people in nursing homes tend to have a lot of medications to help manage their health. Second, there are a lot of pills and it can be easy for a thief to steal a pill or two without anyone noticing. Third, drug diversion in a nursing home can go undetected for a long time. Even if diversion is detected, it might be difficult to pinpoint who is responsible. Fourth, nursing homes are understaffed and less likely to have procedures to prevent drug diversion.

nursing home medication theft

How Does Drug Diversion Happen In Nursing Homes?

Nursing home staff typically manage prescription medications for a large majority of residents they care for. Specific staff members are in charge of managing refills, inventory, dosages, and distribution of many prescription medications to all residents.

In a nursing home setting, any staff member with access to prescribed medications has a duty to keep those medications out of the hands of criminals. This includes controlling access and distribution of the medications under nursing home control.

As we mentioned earlier, nursing homes are usually understaffed and won’t have procedures to prevent drug diversion. 

How To Identify Drug Diversion

In a nursing home setting, it can be difficult to identify drug diversion. One of the first signs of possible drug diversion is a change in the health of the resident. Medication is often needed to manage health for the elderly, and a rapid change in health might be a sign of drug diversion.

If possible, review the medications you or your elderly parent are taking. Ask to review the physical pills and use the internet to look them up. WebMD has a useful online tool to search for medications: WebMD Pill Identifier

If you find a medication that doesn’t match the prescription, this can be a cause for concern. The pill in question might have recently changed. You might want to take a picture of the medication in question and talk to a pharmacist for help identifying it.

Drug Diversion Lawsuit

If you suspect drug diversion is happening, talk with nursing home management. They should take your concerns seriously and investigate. However, when there is strong evidence of drug diversion and nursing home management does not provide answers it might be time to talk to an attorney.

Drug diversion is a crime that can cause serious harm to nursing home residents. If you have evidence of drug diversion and the diversion has caused serious harm, talk to a nursing home attorney for help.

Nursing Home Injury Attorney

If you or an elderly loved one are harmed by nursing home negligence, an attorney at Kane & Silverman may be able to help. Contact us for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys will review the information and answer any questions you have about your claim. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with an attorney.

Kane & Silverman is a trusted injury law firm in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. We are here to help when you need us!