Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs: Policy Change, Law Enforcement Activity, and Diversion Tactics



Authors: Jacinta M. Gau, William D. Moreto, Roberto Hugh Potter, Erika J. Brooke\
Abstract:

The primary goal of this research was to determine whether Florida law HB 7095 and related legislation reduced the number of pain clinics abusively dispensing opioid prescriptions in the State, as well as to assess the logistics of administering the law.

Florida law HB 7095 was signed into law on June 3, 2011, going into effect on July 1, 2011. It established several new regulations for the physical facilities of pain clinics and the acceptable minimum extent of medical examinations and follow-ups physicians must perform on patients before and after prescribing them opioids for the treatment of chronic, non-malignant pain. HB 7095 was intended to compel physicians and clinics currently operating in a sub-standard manner in dispensing opioid prescriptions to improve their services or be forced out of business.

The findings presented in this report indicate that the Florida effort against rampant "pill mills" was largely successful, which is consistent with research that has documented reductions in opioid-related deaths in Florida. Further, the findings show the key role of interagency cooperation in the success of the legislation.

The benefits of collaboration and cooperation in conjunction with Florida's legislation should be considered a model for future efforts in Florida and elsewhere in reducing easy access to prescription opioids.

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