The St. Petersburg Times recently cited a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that indicates that oxycodone was responsible for the death of more Floridians than ever, causing 1185 deaths in 2009. This is a 26% increase from 2008 and an incredible 249% increase since 2005.
This report confirms what law enforcement is experiencing in the Midwest states—the fact that Ft. Lauderdale is not the only area of Florida with overprescribing pain clinics. The St. Petersburg district, which includes Pinellas and Pasco counties, led the list with 197 deaths, while the Ft. Lauderdale district had 161 deaths related to oxycodone in 2009. The Tampa district reported 128 deaths, making the St. Petersburg-Tampa area responsible for 325 oxycodone deaths in 2009. In addition, Pinellas and Pasco counties led the list of methadone (117) and hydrocodone (45) deaths in 2009. As Broward County begins to crack down on their pain clinics, it is natural that the problem would move north into the St. Petersburg-Tampa area. [Read more…]