The hillbilly heroin hoedown in Florida has ended. The number of pain pills sold by Florida doctors dropped 97 percent from 2010 to 2011 according to the DEA. In 2010, 90 of the top 100 Oxy-prescribing doctors in the country were in Florida. In 2011, just 13 made the list, and none cracked the top ten. Turns out the state's crackdown on pill mills has actually worked.
Florida's lax laws once made the state a pill poppin' paradise. Addicts from across the country routinely traveled down to Florida to the state's pill mills -- many of which were located in Broward County -- to easily get their fix. Doctors were doling out the medications with little or no questions asked. Unsurprisingly, the amount of pain pill related deaths in Florida were reaching an alarming point.
But the Florida Legislature put its foot down. Laws that took affect last July largely banned doctors from selling pain pills directly from their own offices. A number of undercover operations and arrests signaled that the state was serious about enforcing the laws. A newly created database also tracks how many prescriptions doctors are written, and monitors if patients are getting multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors.
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Sure, doctors' prescriptions for pain pills can still be filled at regular pharmacies, but even those sales are down 20 percent in the past year.
According the Sun-Sentinel, the dramatic changes have also seen the prices for oxycodone on the street sky rocket. Used to be you could get 80 mg of oxy on the street for $20. Now, the price is closer to $80.
Meanwhile, addicts and pill pushers have moved on. Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky have seen noticeable rises in pain pill sales.