Deaths Linked to Prescription Drug Abuse Drop in Florida

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Prescription drug abuse continues to be on the rise across the country, but fortunately prescription drug abuse deaths, often due to overdose, have recently dropped significantly in the state of Florida. This great news arrives after the recent strengthening of prescription laws and enforcement. This news points to the implication that improper or easy to get prescriptions have a great impact on the number of individuals who abuse prescription drugs.

The Rise of Prescription Drug Abuse in Florida

Between 2003 and 2009, Florida experienced a startling 61% increase in drug overdose-related deaths. The spike in deaths was not due to illegal drugs but due to two powerful prescription drugs. The state also had a problem with so-called pill mills – places where people could easily obtain prescriptions for prescription drug abuse with little or no limits or oversight.

The Fall of Prescription Drug Abuse in Florida

The unscrupulous pill mills became a target of the state’s legislation and many of these pill mills were shut down in widespread operations. The resulting increase in difficulty to obtain prescription drugs has led to a 23% decrease in the amount of drug overdose-related deaths in the state. This correlation points to good news that prescription drug abuse can be reduced significantly if the law cracks down on prescription drugs at their source.

This plan of action was so successful that the number of deaths by oxycodone has reduced to half. The number of pain clinics that were found to be prescribing excessive amounts of prescription drugs in 2010 was 98 clinics and by 2013 the number dropped to an impressive 0 clinics.

The results of the actions of the state of Florida can serve as a wonderful guideline and source of inspiration for other states as well as locales outside of the U.S.

Prescription Drug Abuse

If you or someone you know has a prescription drug abuse problem, there is help. Many people find themselves abusing prescription drugs without even realizing it, often as the result of an initial injury or surgery.  It can be scary when you recognize addiction in a loved one, but recognizing the problem is the only way to start addressing prescription drug abuse. Here are some of the potential signs of a prescription drug abuse problem…

  • Having significant withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drugs
  • Lying about or hiding quantity or frequency of prescription drugs consumed
  • Lying or otherwise using illegal methods to obtain prescription drugs
  • Getting prescriptions for drugs from several sources
  • Withdrawing socially
  • Continuing to abuse prescription drugs despite health consequences
  • Experiencing blackouts
  • Having a change in personality

If you or a loved one may be suffering from a prescription drug abuse problem, seek help from a professional, qualified treatment center. A substance abuse and addiction program can help you take back control of your life and enjoy greater productivity, health and stability. Addiction does not have to rule your life, you can regain control.