16,650 Floridians Killed by Prescription Drug ODs in Six Years
Tallahassee finally got around to putting an end to Florida's out-of-control pill-mill mania, and the move couldn't have come soon enough. New numbers released today show that deaths linked to prescription pill overdoses were up 61 percent between 2003 and 2009, and 16,650 Floridians were killed by prescription pill ODs in those six years.
Prescription drug overdose deaths: Up 61 percent. There were 2,905 in 2009, compared with 1,804 in 2003. Each victim took a lethal dose of at least one prescription drug.
Prescription drug death rate: Up 84.2 percent. For every 100,000 Floridians, there were 13.4 deaths in 2009 vs. 7.3 in 2003.
Oxycodone death rate: Up 265 percent. There were 6.4 deaths per 100,000 Floridians in 2009 vs. 1.7 per 100,000 in 2003.
Alprazolam (Xanax) death rate: Up 234 percent. There were 4.4 deaths per 100,000 Floridians in 2009 vs. 1.3 per 100,000 in 2003.
Illegal drugs death rate: Down 21 percent. There were 3.4 deaths per 100,000 Floridians in 2009, compared with 4.3 per 100,000 in 2003. This includes cocaine, heroin and others.
Those are stunning increases and no doubt in part linked to the number of "pain clinics" that specialized in shilling pain pills.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.