Pinellas County Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse

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Prescription drug abuse has made its mark in Pinellas County, causing an average of one fatal overdose every 32 hours. In fact, in 2010, 280 people died of accidental drug overdoses, where 249 of the deaths were linked to prescription pain medication. In light of the situation, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has emplaced a program to prevent any new opening of pain management clinics until they have been thoroughly and appropriately researched and approved. The main idea is to have a new, higher standard of care by enforcing stricter, safer rules and training. For example, there will be a greater emphasis on requiring proof of licensing, as well as requiring clinics to own an official government permit. So in short, there will be stricter policies surrounding healthcare clinics and offices, as “regulatory agencies” do their part in making sure pain management clinics have their permits, and support the same aims as their local law enforcement.

Prescription drug abuse is impacting Pinellas County in a devastating way, but many are questioning the motives of those who are running the clinics and distributing the drugs, who are possibly supplying their patients with either an overabundance of pain medication, or perhaps being reckless and prescribing the wrong amount to the wrong users. The new aim is to arrest dealers, shut down pill mills, and put an end to prescription fraud. Addicts are constantly doctor shopping their way into a deeper world of pain and agony, and taking advantage of any holes in the medical system; recovering addicts will tell you themselves from their experience, that an addiction to pain medication (along with several kinds of opioids, stimulants and depressants such as alcohol) is far worse than what anyone can expect, causing unbearable cravings and uncontrollable behavior in its victim.

In making a stand for drug abuse awareness, Pinellas County Connection Television (a local television company) will create “fighting back” videos for educational purposes, hoping to reach out to those either suffering from drug abuse and addiction, or those who know someone who needs assistance. It is called Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse, a four part series that informs the public of what problems are being caused by prescription pain medication addiction, and what their local government is doing to solve the problem.

Education after all, is the first step in finding a solution, which is a preventative measure against future deaths, accidental overdose, or mishaps due to prescription pill consumption. The first part of the series is titled Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse, followed by Fighting Back with Public Outreach (part 2), Fighting Back Against Synthetic Drugs (part 3), and finally, Fighting Back with Proper Drug Disposal (part 4). Hopefully, the following years will see much improvement in not only preventing future fatal overdoses, but get more people to seek help at a professional prescription drug rehabilitation center in Pinellas County. It's good to hear Pinellas County is taking initiative fighting back against prescription drug abuse.

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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