The latest news from the prescription drug front is that Governor Rick Scott of Florida is looking to kill a planned statewide computer database system designed to track pain clinic abuses and "doctor shopping".
While this is surely an expensive undertaking, the lax attitude the State of Florida has on prescription drug pain clinics and pill mills is abhorrent and detrimental to our society.
Here are some facts:
IN 2007 THERE WERE ONLY FOUR PAIN CLINICS IN BROWARD COUNTY, FL. FROM AUGUST 2008 TO NOV 2009 THE NUMBER SWELLED FROM 47 TO 115, AND TO DATE THERE ARE OVER 150.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS OVER 900 CLINICS STATE WIDE
THERE ARE MORE PAIN CLINICS IN BROWARD COUNTY THAN MCDONALDS.
ACCORDING TO FEDERAL DATA COMPILED BY BROWARD SHERIFFS OFFICE, BROWARD COUNTY, FL HAS BECOME THE PAIN KILLER CAPITAL OF THE UNITED STATES, FEEDING A BRAZEN BLACK MARKET SPRAWLING THROUGH THE SOUTH AND NEW ENGLAND WITH LITTLE OR NO REGULATIONS HOLDING ACCOUNTABLE PAIN MANAGMENT CLINICS IN FLORIDA, DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG DEALERS CROSS THE STATE LINE WITH IMPUNITY.
There are over 40,000 deaths from drug overdoses in the United States each year, and computer databases like the one proposed can prevent some of these deaths.
It is so easy for someone to go from doctor to doctor, a lot of times with the same prescription, and gain any amount of drugs they please with great ease. People come from other states to Florida just to bring back hefty supplies to sell on the street.
We've seen a shift in the types of drugs people talk about. More and more young people are becoming addicted today to pills like Oxycontin, Xanax and others. One mistake, and it's over.