Florida’s New “Pill Mill” Laws Proving Difficult to Implement
Florida lawmakers recently passed new laws aimed to combat prescription-drug abuse in the sunshine state. The stricter laws target prescription drugs at their source, pain-management clinics commonly referred to as “pill mills”. However, the Florida government’s tactical war on the addiction of prescription drugs – such as Oxycodone and Xanax – is proving much easier to draw up than successfully implement.
The government’s campaign to curb prescription painkiller addiction has experienced hardships for years. In 2009, a new law called for a prescription drug monitoring database to be up and running by Dec. 2010. That didn’t happen, as contract-bid disputes, funding issues and structural concerns with the system prevented it from becoming operational. To this day, the drug-monitoring program still has not “gone live” (officials report its release is now imminent).
The latest setback concerns part of the new legislation passed in May. The newest pill mill laws mandate physicians to use new, counterfeit-proof prescription pads beginning July 1, 2011. However, this law put Florida’s population at risk, as many of Florida’s doctors weren’t able to obtain these fancy new prescription pads in time for the law change. Patients bringing the traditional prescription orders to pharmacies were turned away empty-handed. The government was forced to issue an emergency order suspending the requirement of counterfeit-proof prescription papers.
The prescription-pad problem is symbolic of Florida’s continuing woes with pharmaceutical drug abuse. Just when it appears the state is making progress, circumstances cause the state to backpedal. While there have been many mistakes made in combating fatal overdoses, one angle has proved particularly ineffective: increasing criminal punishment to addicts of prescription drugs.
Good People Become Victims
People who become hooked on pharmaceutical drugs are often nonviolent and otherwise law-abiding citizens who were taken hold by the highly addictive qualities of drugs like Oxycodone. While heavy fines and incarceration don’t solve addiction, Florida Law still calls for severe punishment for pharmaceutical drug offenses.
Unlawful possession of just four grams of Oxycontin carries a minimum of a three-year sentence in prison and fines of $50,000. People accused of drug trafficking face even stricter punishment. No matter the quantity of drugs, those who are successfully prosecuted for prescription drug offenses face harsh treatment in Florida.
If you have been accused of a drug crime, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will work with you to develop a defense strategy while detecting any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. A skilled and dedicated attorney will help you achieve the best possible outcome so you can move on with your life.