A new Florida Department of Law Enforcement report based on medical examiners’ analysis of Florida drug deaths indicates that overall Florida drug deaths have risen even as prescription drug deaths have fallen. Don’t jump the gun in thinking that Florida’s Prescription Painkiller Database is responsible for any reduction of prescription drug deaths because as your Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer noted a few weeks ago, ten thousand Florida prescription drug deaths have not been sufficient in coaxing Florida doctors and pharmacists to embrace the Drug Database system as doctors continue to unlawfully dispense controlled substances at an alarming rate with only one doctor in twelve using the database.
The FDLE report notes that alcohol, cocaine and oxycodone were the drugs most often found in bodies of those who died and further notes:
- The drugs that caused the most deaths were all Benzodiazepines (545 – includes 461 deaths caused by Alprazolam) Oxycodone (607), Methadone (341), Ethyl Alcohol (269), and Cocaine (294).
- The four drugs where more than 50% of the deaths in which these drugs were found were caused by Heroin (95.0%), Methadone (72.2%), Oxycodone (57.4%) and Fentanyl (57.0%).
- Heroin continues to be the most lethal drug named in this report. Occurrences of Heroin have increased by 15% and deaths caused by Heroin increased by 23.5% when compared with the last six months of 2010.
|Cezanne, Still Life, with Skull|
It isn’t enough to make needless arrests or further criminalize painkiller drug use by subjecting users to ever harsher drug sentencing laws. Fear of arrest should never keeps users from seeking help with drug addiction. Instead users should be given help and if arrested be given an opportunity to overcome drug addiction while having drug charges reduced with the help of Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys by effective representation in the Pinellas County Drug Court. These people need help not harsh minimum mandatory drug sentences. If new legislation is needed, it would be laws that will subject doctors and pharmacists who fail to use the Florida Painkiller Database to penalties for risking lives for profit.