A new government study suggests Florida policy changes are saving lives.
A Center for Disease Control (CDC) report shows more than a 50 percent drop in the state’s prescription overdose deaths between 2010 and 2012. Public health officials say new pain clinic regulations may have contributed to the decline.
In 2010, Florida lawmakers began requiring some clinics to register with the state. The laws targeted pain clinics using controlled substances to treat pain.
Legislators also established programs to monitor what drugs are dispensed and the types of drugs available in doctor’s offices. Medical examiners are also required to report every drug-related death to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.
Oxycodone overdose deaths declined dramatically. In 2003, Florida reported 299 deaths. The number peaked at 1,516 deaths in 2010. After legislation, the numbers dropped to 735 deaths in 2012.
According to the CDC, “measures introduced in Florida have been adopted by other states.
“The number of states with pain clinic laws increased from three in 2010, to 11 in 2013.”
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