Florida Somehow the Least Pill-Poppin' State in the South

Categories: Broward News

Looks like Florida is the only southern state not completely blowing it.
There's a classic episode of Current TV's Vanguard that takes place in Florida. "Oxycontin Express" took reporter Mariana van Zeller to Broward, where she talked to pill addicts and the people who travel here from out of state to purchase drugs and traffic them elsewhere. It's so good! It won a Peabody Award. But more importantly, it captured a state in crisis.

We are no longer in that crisis, according to a report just released by the CDC.

Thanks Pam Bondi? One of our attorney general's first orders of business was taking down pill mills. It was a dire situation: When she was elected in 2011, seven Floridians were dying every day from prescription drug overdoses. Two years later, none of the top Oxy-dealin' doctors lived here and 870,000 pills had been seized. In all, the turnaround was pretty dope (pun sort-of intended.)

But the South is still in trouble. Just not us. In the infographic that came with the CDC's new report, Florida is a sole spot of orange amidst disastrous purple. The colors mean that while there are 72-82.1 prescriptions for each set of 100 Florida citizens, places like Tennessee and the Carolinas are seeing 96-143 prescriptions.

Florida is actually one of three states touted as a success in the report. On Tuesday, we wrote about a different report released by the CDC, which said 89 percent of the country's Oxy came from us in 2010. Probably because the situation was so screwed up, we were the first state to regulate pain clinics. As a result, there were 50 percent fewer overdoses in 2012 than in 2010. That's kind of a huge deal. Tennessee and New York both took action to prevent patients from seeing multiple doctors, although the former is still listed as one of the biggest problem states.

Although our attorney general, Pam Bondi, certainly has her faults (she called gay marriage harmful to society like, a month ago.), she did a pretty kick-ass job of helping Florida get over its pill problem. And although there are still tons of addicted people living here, this news from the CDC is heartening. It means there will be fewer slaves to Oxycontin in the future. Even if "Oxycontin Express" is pretty much the best TV doco of all time -- it's a great thing that someone couldn't film it in 2014.

"Pam worked tirelessly with the legislature and law enforcement agencies to create and resoundingly pass a comprehensive "pill mill bill" to crack down on this dangerous crime," according to her website. "Pam has continued efforts to keep dangerous drugs off our streets by banning synthetic drugs such as "bath salts," "spice," and "mollies," and by championing awareness programs and take-back days."

To celebrate, check out "Oxycontin Express" if you haven't already. It's the absolute best.

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti

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Why only 17% decline? If you use the comparative numbers - total volume prescribed and dispensed, 17% is NOT enough. Why? Because everyone is touting that those PHYSICIANS no longer live in Florida. WRONG - many still live here and reta...in the privilege to practice medicine in our State. We were having 11 deaths/day - 17% of 11 = 1.87. That means we currently are having 9.13 deaths/day today. Is that acceptable? Not in my mind - so why are they touting this report?


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`Everyone should watch the oxycontin express I agree.  The problem though has not gone away.  In 2010 The Fl Legislation passed a law to stop dispensing from the pill mills.  That measure saved a lot of lives.  The statement that 98% of the top dispensing doctors in our county were from Fl and now that number is 0 is very misleading (Now They Write Prescriptions) 0 dispense from the pill mill -- true but misleading. The same CDC report that was quoted in this article also stated that in 2010 overdose deaths in Fl were 2560. In 2012 overdose deaths in Fl 1892. This is in one year, one state; still far too many.  To give the impression that Fl no longer has a problem will only slow the process of improvement.  Stoppnow is trying to strengthen the PDMP by mandating that doctors use it, currently few do.  And utilizing the PDMP across state lines.  Please contact your Senators and Representatives to support.  The last pill mill that was shut down only a few weeks ago was by DEA from Kentucky and Fl.  We, the pill mills in Fl have caused entire generations in several counties in Kentucky to exist no more.

riverrat69 topcommenter

Did the fat doctor shopping douchebag move out of state?

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