| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Florida Governor Signs Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Drugs are widely used in the United States, but it’s not just illegal ones that are leading to criminal charges and deaths. Prescription drugs have become an epidemic in the country over the past decade. People are living longer and relying on painkillers to help them feel good. The problem with prescription drugs, though, is that they stop working after a while. They become less effective, so some people take more and more. As a result, many overdose and die. Opioids are the most commonly used prescription drugs, and they are causing numerous deaths across the United States. People are also selling them to make money, which is considered illegal sale of prescription drugs. This is often a felony crime. Fortunately, Florida is being proactive and taking steps to combat this crisis. Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a new law that will place stricter limits on opioid use in a bid to address the epidemic, which claims at least 16 lives a day in Florida alone. The comprehensive measure will include education programs and limited availability of these addictive drugs. The state legislature has made combating the opioid epidemic a priority. The new law will earmark more money for education programs. It will place tougher limits on opioid prescriptions. It will also require that doctors check the state database and make sure that patients are not “doctor shopping” and getting prescriptions from multiple health care providers. The situation is dire in Florida. Between 2015 and 2016, opioid overdose deaths skyrocketed 35 percent. In 2016, opioids were responsible for the deaths of 5,725 people in the state. Fentanyl is the most popular opioid in some areas of Florida. Some versions of fentanyl can be 5,000 times more lethal than heroin. Manatee County suffered the highest rate of deaths from this drug in 2016. The new law, which takes effect July 1, has a goal of reducing the number of prescription drug addicts in Florida. It will place the toughest restrictions on Schedule II drugs such as fentanyl and oxycontin. Doctors would be able to prescribe only a three-day limit, although a seven-day limit would be allowed in some cases. There would be no limit for those with chronic pain, trauma or a terminal illness such as cancer. The new law includes an upgrade to Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. It would make it easier to track a person’s medication history across the nation. This means that doctors in adjacent states could track a Florida resident’s prescriptions and refuse to fill any if it appears the person is attempting to get prescriptions from multiple doctors. Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney Today Even though prescription drugs are often obtained legally, you can still get in legal trouble for fraud and illegal possession and sale relates to these drugs. You could face felony charges for selling prescription drugs. If this is the case for you, you need legal help right away. Contact the aggressive criminal defense lawyers at Moses & Rooth. We will assess every aspect of your case to help you formulate a solid defense. Schedule your free consultation today. Call our office at (407) 377-0150 or contact us online.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Prescription Pills & Opioids

Florida House Bill 477 Targets Opioid Abuse in Florida

The State of Florida is ramping up it’s fight against opioid addiction. Earlier this year, Governor Scott declared a statewide public health emergency against opioid abuse. More recently, Governor Scott signed a new Florida law, House Bill 477, which will impose stricter penalties for those convicted of dealing and using pills, heroin, opioids and fentanyl and the overuse of opioid prescriptions. As of today, Florida has new penalties and enhanced laws related to synthetic opioid drugs. There are mandatory minimum sentences for possession of fentanyl and its derivatives. House Bill 477 states that: Controlled Substances; Provides that certain crime laboratory personnel may possess, store, & administer emergency opioid antagonists; provides that unlawful distribution of specified controlled substances & analogs or mixtures thereof which proximately cause death is murder; adds certain synthetic opioid substitute compounds to Schedule I; prohibits possession of more than 10 grams of specified substances; revises substances that constitute certain trafficking offenses; creates certain trafficking offenses; provides specified minimum terms of imprisonment & fines based on quantity involved in for certain offenses. Effective Date: 10/1/2017 It is very clear that we are in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. Prescription abuse, opioid and heroin overdose is on the rise. But why is this new law so important to understand? First, H.B. 477 sets mandatory minimum sentences for opioid users and dealers. These mandatory minimum sentences take away any and all discretion that a judge may use when evaluating the case of someone grappling with addiction. H.B.477 specifically states that synthetic opioids are now Schedule 1 narcotics unless used for pharmaceutical purposes. When a drug is labelled under Schedule 1 that means anyone convicted of possessing more than 4 grams of fentanyl is subject to a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison. Anyone convicted of possessing more than 14 grams of fentanyl faces serving 15 years in prison and possession of more than 28 grams faces 25 years in prison. In addition to the new law, Governor Scott has proposed new legislation to help enforce this new law and fight the opioid abuse epidemic. Here’s what Governor Scott is pushing for – a $50 million dollar boost in funding and allow for only a three day supply of an opioid prescription. It would also require opioid prescribers to use the Florida Drug Monitoring Program, a database created in 2009 as part of the fight against pain mills. It’s important, now more than ever, to know what is in your prescription, and that HB 477 can have a serious impact on an ordinary user not just a dealer. Judges have no discretion when it comes to mandatory minimum sentences. At Moses and Rooth we understand the severity this new law. We will be able to evaluate the evidence in your case and aggressively defend you against the charges.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Drug Charges

FDA Finally Wakes up with new Opioid Labeling, but still not enough

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced a new requirement for prescription pills containing Opioids, such as Oxycontin to have starker warning labels. Its pretty pathetic for the FDA to now (Spetember 2013) be releasing this requirement and statement: “FDA is extremely concerned about the inappropriate use in opioids, which has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and has become a major public health challenge,”. Unreal! Opioids have been an epidemic for years and the FDA is just now releasing this precaution. This is still not enough for our local communities and youth who are struggling with the addiction. These labels should have been placed on the drug as soon as the FDA approved the drugs for distribution. Some of the most commonly abused opioids are: Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet) Propoxyphene (Darvon) Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet) Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) Meperidine (Demerol) Diphenoxylate (Lomotil) Morphine (Cadian, Avinza, MS Contin) Codeine Methadone Fentanyl (Duragesic) The new labels will indicate that the drugs are intended for pain “severe enough to require daily, around the clock, long term opioid treatment and for which alternative options are inadequate.” Furthermore the label will indicate because of the risks of addiction, abuse and misuse even for patients which use the drug as directed – opioids should be used only for patients for whom other treatments are not sufficient. What is the FDA trying to accomplish with this labeling? Its too little too late. Too many of our youths are addicted to the opioids that have been over prescribed by the doctors for years. We need treatment programs in our communities to overcome these addictions not labels. Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fda-announces-new-labeling-rules-for-opioid-painkillers-including-oxycodone/2013/09/10/b722281a-1a30-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

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