Florida Prescribes 10xs More of Oxycodone than the Entire Nation; Gov. Rick Scott Sits on His Hands
In terms of straying away from the pill mill state Florida used to be deemed nationwide, we’re slowly tipping back into that stereotype, according to NPR’s recent article. Florida pain clinics are still prescribing ten times as much oxycodone than the rest of the nation. Undercover investigations in progress by local law enforcement agents are targeting the new pill mills, which operate inside of strip malls. In a recent conference Mark Trouville stated, “If you’re a clinic owner or a doctor or an employee knowingly working at one of these pill mills, we have probably bought dope from you. And we are probably coming to see you soon.”
The reason for the influx of pill mills in strip malls? A lack of monitoring. Florida presently has no sure-fire way to monitor the prescriptions patients are collecting from various doctors and pain clinics, despite having access to the barebones of a system which would do just that. Like other states in the nation who monitor the number of prescriptions floating through the system (and the names attached to them), Florida has the opportunity to help track down people who are doctor shopping, and likely abusing addictive opiates. In response, local law enforcement can choose to crack down on the clinics providing access to highly addictive substances without medical merit, and help those who are abusing the substances get addiction treatment.
But Gov. Rick Scott has come out against such policies that would monitor the prescription drug network. NPR quotes Scott, “I believe it’s an invasion of privacy and . . . it appears that the money’s been wasted.” He speaks, presumably, of the funds raised to make the prescription drug database operational. Local law enforcement patrolling highway 75 report people from other states come to Florida to fill their prescriptions when they need to get their hands on more opiate prescriptions. It’s not an uncommon occurrence for overdoses to happen with frequency on the “Oxy Express-” which is what 75 has now been dubbed.
About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.