Florida Leads Nation in Oxycodone Distribution

Half Billion Doses of the Drug Oxycodone were Distributed in 2009. More than Twice as Much as Any Other State.
By: V3 Integrated Marketing
March 9, 2011 - PRLog -- New data obtained from the federal government shows that more than a half billion doses of the drug Oxycodone were distributed in 2009, which is more than twice as much as any other state. The number of Oxycodone pills sold in the State of Florida has more than tripled since 2005.

In a study done in 2009, prescription painkillers – non-illicit opioids like Fentanyl, Hydrycodone and Oxycodone are prominent among causes of drug deaths in Florida.  In fact, deaths from these legal substances cause more deaths than heroin.

Busts of illegal pain clinics or “pill mills” have been in the news of late and the State of Florida is, without question, in the midst of a huge crisis with regard to prescription painkiller abuse.  In late February, 23 people were arrested, including four physicians and five owners of pain clinics. The raids on 11 pain clinics resulted in not only arrests, but seizure of assets including more than $2.5 million in cash, cars and other items.

One arrest of note was Vincent Colangelo of Davie, Florida, whose earnings from the seven pain centers he owned were estimated at $150,000 a day.

Research done by Jim Hall, Director of the Center for the Study & Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University, indicated that less than 20% of the Oxycodone pills in Florida are distributed by pain clinics – the rest were sold by pharmacies. That’s why many support a database that helps control “doctor shopping,” which is an all too common practice. A database would log all prescriptions and help prevent addicts and dealers from getting their hands on the drugs quite as easily.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is a former health care industry executive, attorney and founder of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. He formerly abolished the Office of Drug Control in the State of Florida and does not support a drug database system, mostly due to privacy issues and the costs associated therewith.

Whatever is ultimately decided, it is clear that Florida, and South Florida in particular, is in a state of crisis with regard to prescription painkillers in general, and Oxycodone in particular.

Jim Hall is speaking to area addiction and recovery professionals on Wednesday, March 18th, as part of a Continuing Education Workshop Series hosted by Challenges Addiction Treatment and Relapse Prevention Center.  The topic of the workshop is “Florida’s Prescription Drug Epidemic and Other Emerging Substance Abuse Issues”

Says Craig Benoit, Director of  Professional Relations and Employee Assistance Programs for Challenges, “We’re very much aware that prescription painkiller abuse is at a crisis point here in South Florida, and we’re dedicated to doing our part to help educate the health care community and do all we can to put more resources at their disposal. That’s why we’re honored to have Jim Hall present to our group and we will continue to initiate discussion, education and host similar programs until such time as this crisis is under control.”

For more information on the Workshop, contact Craig Benoit at Challenges, 888-755-3334 or 954-683-1564

Challenges' website

Download report on Report on Prescription Drug Abuse Trends


If you are a member of the media interested in interviewing one of the doctors or experts on the Challenges Addiction and Relapse Prevention Treatment Center staff, please contact Shelly Kramer at V3 Integrated Marketing. Contact us at info@v3im.com or call 816-200-2520.

If you are not a member of the media and you are interested in learning more about Challenges’ addiction and relapse prevention programs, please contact us by phone at 888-755-3334 or online at http://www.challenges-program.com.  The team at Challenges is available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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