Prior postings have decried deaths and abuse in prescribing of opiates. Florida was the poster child of abuse, with strip mall featuring “pain clinics” where patients from other states would fly into to receive bogus prescriptions.
The sheer number of prescriptions nationwide has helped drive abuse in the United States. In 2012, more than 259 million prescriptions for pain pills were dispensed, federal researchers said, enough for every American adult to get a bottle of them. For the past decade, more than 20,000 Americans have died each year from prescription pain pill overdose.
As this article and associated editorial demonstrate, change is possible. Florida and other states have made a good start in curbing abuse. Lives have been saved in the process. There is more to be done in curbing the misuse of opiates for chronic pain. Opioid painkillers are dangerously overprescribed, but Florida has shown how states can confront this problem.