Florida’s response to the nation’s prescription drug epidemic


Prescription drug violations come in many forms. The common denominator in nearly all of them is drug addiction. Consumers often become addicted because of severe pain and prescribers meet this entirely preventable need by continuing to prescribe opioid pain relievers. Many times this cycle of pain and pain relief spirals out of control until addiction has sunk its teeth into those who are suffering. As a result, addicted citizens may turn to illegal measures to get the drugs they feel they need.

The nation is all too aware of the prescription drug epidemic and lawmakers do all they can to curtail this widespread issue. In Florida, two laws addressing prescription drugs appear to be making a difference, although more work is needed.

The first law is the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, or PDMP. This resource keeps track of the names of patients, dates of prescriptions and the amount of the drug prescribed. Doctors can access and use this data to look for drug-seeking patterns like attempting to get prescription drugs from different physicians.

Florida’s second prescription drug law focuses on so-called "pill mills," which are pain clinics with generous prescription policies. The law now requires these clinics to register with the state of Florida and be operated by a physician.

Data collected both before and after the implementation of these laws show a reduction in opioid drug prescriptions. However, a significant subset of the state’s main prescription drug providers continued to prescribe a high volume of opioids. This indicates that while the PDMP is reducing opioid medication use across the state, additional reduction measures are still needed.

Those who engage in prescription drug violations are not necessarily the criminals the world believes them to be; rather, they are often victims of a broken system of health care. They need help to recover and improve their lives. If you are facing prescription drug charges, please consider reaching out for help. An attorney can put you on the right path to recovery while helping you navigate the Florida legal system.

Source: Medical Daily, "Florida’s Pill Mill Laws Hope To Address State’s Opioid Epidemic By Cutting Down On Pain Medication Prescriptions," Ali Venosa, accessed July 29, 2016

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