Pill Mill Problem Going Away, but the Addiction Is Not

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There has recently been a positive shift in the battle against prescription drug abuse in Florida. Up until now, the number of state-wide prescription drug deaths in Florida has not seen a decline in nearly a decade. In fact, there was a 17 percent drop in oxycodone deaths from 2010 to 2011, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner in Tallahassee, to which he adds, “Florida is moving in the right direction…” Also, in 2011, state officials realized that the “clampdown” on pill mills was actually yielding positive results in the world of drug abuse and overdose fatalities. The efforts in shutting down numerous pill mills was actually working and saving lives compared to previous years. The State Attorney General said, “I personally was shocked we saw a decline this fast.”

But what actions took place in order to reach such an incredible accomplishment? Well to begin with, since May 2011, there were 3,300 arrests, of which 61 were doctors. In addition, 254 pill mills were also shut down and roughly $10 million were seized in total. As a direct result, prescription drug overdoses declined by over 6% statewide. It’s important to know which drugs are being heavily abused in Florida in order to make effective plans against them. The FDLE reported that certain were causing the most fatalities statewide, including oxycodone, methadone, cocaine, alcohol, morphine, hydrocodone, diazepam, and benzodiazepines (which are prescribed to treat stress and alcohol withdrawal). Deaths caused by oxycodone fortunately dropped from 99 to 84 in Northeast Florida in 2011.

However, it was also reported by police officials that their efforts to close pill mills had a negative side-effect on the whole addiction problem, which is that it forces individuals who are addicted to switch their primary drug of abuse. “The pill mill problem is going away, but the addiction is not.” So although prescription fraud and doctor shopping is being better prevented, the main issue on drug addiction persists through it all. “We’re starting to see a little increase in heroin use.” In fact, statewide deaths caused by heroin have heightened to 18.8% compared to 2010. Synthetic drugs are also causing problems because law enforcement continues to have trouble testing for it on the streets. Synthetic drugs are so mixed and combined that they often mislead the test results. Overall, prescription drug overdoses are declining at a steady pace, but a new issue has emerged from this, which is that addicted individuals are shifting from one drug to another in order to satisfy their craving. Instead of cracking down in doctor shopping and pill mills, it is addiction treatment at a rehab center that helps people recovery from addiction.

It is often the case that those suffering from a drug addiction cannot safely detox on their own due to the damaging health effects of the withdrawal symptoms. In fact, in some cases, attempting to do so can be deadly. A Center for Addiction Recovery’s Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program provides detox and addiction treatment therapies as well as education on the cycle of addiction, in an effort to help each individual identify behaviors in the cycle and side-step relapse before it occurs. It is vital that you or your loved receive professional addiction treatment at a medically-supervised private; it is safe, reliable, and effective.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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