Prescription drug abuse has become a major epidemic in Florida. From cities like Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, extremely powerful narcotics are being distributed in store fronts and pain clinics. On the street this operation is called “pill mills,” and places where thousands of doses of drugs, specifically prescription drugs, are being dispersed.
The days of “crack houses” are becoming fewer and fewer as more and more drug dealers are stepping out from their secret houses and into the open, in arenas as public as strip malls, to distribute their drugs. In Florida, cities like Fort Lauderdale and Miami are no longer just known for their sunny beaches and great vacation getaways, but also being known for their drug addicts and traffickers. State and local law enforcement officials have really been trying to crack down on this growing drug craze. Teams of law enforcement have been heavily raiding areas like Palm Beach and Miami to bust illegal drug use. They have successfully arrested many people and seized more than $22 million dollars in cash along with property, and even luxurious cars.
According to statistics, oxycodone is prescribed ten times more by doctors in Florida, than any other state in the country combined. Due to this overwhelming number, many drug addicts and dealers find Florida as an easy target to come and get their stash of the prescription drugs. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, they have been going undercover to get an inside look on this rising problem. During their investigation they have successfully been able to make more than 400 illegal drug buys from pain clinics and this number is still growing. This is an attempt to really start to scare these doctors who think they are going to successfully continue to give these powerful pain medications to patients that don’t really need them.
But why are prescription drugs like oxycodone so much easier to disperse in Florida than any other state? That’s because unlike other states, Florida doesn’t have a system that monitors prescription drugs. With a system like this in place, law enforcement could crack down on those who are going around “drug shopping” or hopping from one clinic to the next in order to obtain multiple drug prescriptions. Florida law enforcement realize although they can continue to go around and arrest those that they seeing illegally distributing drugs, they know that it will not be the stop to the problem. Because it has developed into such a major problem in many Florida cities, they agree that the best way to really get hold of this is to have more strict regulations on the funding and doctors that are able to distribute these drugs. By having more ways to monitor them it would in return crack down on how much it can freely be prescribed.
Florida law enforcement is continuing to make strides in this area and hopefully cut back on the number of people who are using these pain clinics to get their quick drug fix. Although it will take more effort from the state and local officials, many believe that it is a problem that can get fixed.