The Florida Department of Law Enforcement cited a report last week indicating that overall deaths in the state caused by prescription drugs had decreased nearly 10 percent last year. The sharpest decrease was among those caused by the painkiller oxycodone, which had dipped by more than 40 percent.
Although there were reductions in deaths related to methadone and hydrocodone as well, the total number of fatalities was still more than 8,300 for the year.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “While this drastic decline in deaths caused by prescription drugs is great, we must remain steadfast in our efforts to save more lives from prescription drug abuse.”
Many feel that the decision to finally crack down on Florida’s “Pill Mill” operations has played a major role in the decline. Interstate 75 had been dubbed the “Oxy Highway” due to the large number of people traveling down through Florida to walk-in pain clinics with pharmacies on site to fill prescriptions for highly addictive narcotics.
Prescription drug monitoring programs have also played a major role in the reduction of lives lost. These programs help to curb doctor shopping and other forms of prescription drug fraud and have been lauded in many states throughout the country.
Hopefully this marks the turning point in the prescription drug abuse epidemic not only in Florida, but around the United States. If legislative and law enforcement can assist from their side, then treatment and education can make up more ground to help people get their lives back on track, as well as prevent the misuse altogether.
If you or a loved one is in need of rehabilitation for a prescription drug abuse problem, contact Gulf Breeze Recovery today.