Joyce and Reyes Pill Mill Attorney Praises Report Showing Decrease in Florida Drug-Related Deaths
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 15, 2013 - A new report showed Florida had significantly fewer drug-related deaths in 2012 than in 2011.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi touted the report from Florida Medical Examiners at a press conference on a recent Tuesday. She attributed the drop in drug deaths to law enforcement's “relentless effort” in cracking down on Florida's “pill mills” – clinics run by doctors who over-prescribe narcotic painkillers.
“The state's public safety efforts are working,” said Tampa pill mill attorney Robert Joyce. “Pill mills have been drastically reduced, arrests are down, and now, it is clear the immense harm from these addictive drugs is being reduced as well.”
The medical examiners' report said that 8,330 people in Florida had drug-related deaths in 2012 – 805 fewer than in 2011, or a nine percent decrease. Deaths caused by oxycodone were down 41 percent in the same time period. Despite that steep drop, oxycodone still caused the lion's share of all drug-related deaths: 735.
“Those numbers are very telling,” Joyce added. “Total drug deaths are down nine percent, but oxycodone deaths are down 41 percent. To me, that shows the law enforcement crackdown is working. But then, oxycodone still kills more people than any other drug, despite causing 41 percent fewer deaths. That shows just how dangerous the drug is.”
Bondi said that prior to the changes in law, 98 of the nation's top 100 dispensers of oxycodone – the most popular drug among abusers and dealers of narcotic painkillers – were in Florida. According to Bondi, that number is now zero.
The legal efforts against pill mills include a prescription drug monitoring database to which Florida doctors are required to submit records of prescriptions of certain narcotics. When doctors suspect patients may be attempting to obtain medically unnecessary quantities of drugs, they can query the database for the patients' names to see if they have recently obtained the drug. A recent report from The Tampa Tribune said that Hillsborough County doctors have queried the database more than a half-million times since its inception – more than in any other county.
But the report also said that just eight of Florida's 67 counties contributed funds to the operation of the system, which by law, receives no state funding.
“It's encouraging that local doctors are making use of the database. Hopefully the continued positive results will encourage our county government to get with the program,” Joyce said.
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307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
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