With the hurricanes leaving Florida behind (for the time being), Governor Rick Scott is turning his attention toward prescription opioid use disorder. After all, the number of Floridians dying each year from opioids is like a lingering Category 5 storm. With the upcoming legislative season looming ever closer it’s time to get to work “weatherizing” for the year to come. The storm of opioid misuse in Florida has shown little sign of letting up. In spite of past efforts to shutter “pill mills,” unlicensed pain management clinics continue to wreak havoc.

Every opioid narcotic, regardless of brand or strength, legal or illicit — carries the potential for dependence and addiction. The State of Florida has long struggled with how to combat those who would turn a profit at the expense of life. Not too long ago, Florida was the pill mill and “doctor shopping” capital of the U.S. While strong efforts to change that reality have been made, prescription opioid abuse must continue to be addressed.

Prescription Opioid Epidemic: Where It All Began

Gov. Scott is proposing more than $50 million in funding to advance addiction treatment efforts throughout the state, Palm Beach Post reports. The funding would also be used for other forms of counseling and recovery services. The Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council also stands to see a significant boost in funding.

Heroin and synthetic opioids are a major problem, taking more lives across the country than painkillers in 2016. However, the opioid addiction epidemic began with prescription painkillers. So, it stands to reason that most new cases of opioid use disorder still begin with heroin’s legal cousins. OxyContin and MS Contin continue to take lives throughout the state. Prescription opioids remain as dangerous as ever. The Governor has not laid out the exact details, as of yet, but what has been offered up looks promising:

  • Placing a three-day limit on prescribed opioids, some exceptions will be made for a 7-day supply.
  • Mandating the use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
  • Going after unlicensed pain management clinics (i.e. pill mills).
  • Require pain management courses for responsible prescribing practices.
  • Create new opportunities for federal grants and funding.

Please take a moment to watch a short press conference by clicking here.

Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Preventing new cases of opioid use disorder is paramount. Treating existing cases, is equally as important. The longer one’s addiction goes untreated, the greater the risks of overdose. Please contactImmersion Recovery Center to start the process of addiction recovery. We are here to help 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 day-a-year.

Breaking the cycle of addiction requires hard work and steadfast dedication to the principles of recovery. However, those who are willing to do whatever it takes can achieve long-term recovery.