Did you know that over 5 million Americans ages 12 and up are taking prescribed painkillers for reasons that aren't medically necessary each year in the U.S.? This new data comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and was published in Health Pop on CBS News.
Florida has seen a near 9 percent increase in deaths related to prescription drugs up from 2009, even though law enforcement staged an aggressive crackdown. Oxycodone has been the main culprit, causing over 1,500 deaths in 2010 alone, compared to 1,185 the year before. This is the second year in a row that prescription drugs have outdone illegal drug as the leading cause of death. There were nearly three times the number of deaths in Florida from oxycodone as compared to cocaine.
Florida Governor Rick Scott takes the problem personally since he has seen drug abuse affect his own family. Governor Scott believes they need stronger legislation and regulations, along with more funding for law enforcement. Florida has long had addicts and dealers flock across the Southeast to clinics for their fix of prescription drugs. Officials in Florida recently quarantined over 148,000 prescription pills in a court-ordered procedure after declaring a public health emergency.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the increase in deaths due to prescription drugs in her state year after year is "crushing." Bondi believes with continued efforts among political leaders and law enforcement, things can change in a positive way in the future.
Oxycodone users who develop a physical dependence need medical supervision to avoid or reduce symptoms of withdrawal that range from insomnia and vomiting to involuntary leg twitches. If you know someone who is an oxycodone addict, it is imperative to search out the correct medical treatment to ensure the safest recovery.