Three Florida women put pressure on Sunshine State’s “pill mills,” legislators, governor
As Kentucky officials ask Florida legislators to crack down on pill mills, three Florida women have started a grassroots effort to spread awareness about the problem. Nurse Renee Doyle, respiratory therapist Joy Saghy and nurse Janet Colbert, all of whom have experienced the effects of prescription-drug addiction first-hand, have formed STOPP Now — Stop the Organized Pill Pushers Now, The Miami Herald‘s Audra D.S. Burch reports.
To spread awareness, Saghy, Colbert and Doyle host rallies at pain clinics. Their goal is to have oxycodone banned, except when treating advanced cancer, and to support the establishment of a tracking database. About 50 people generally show up at the rallies. Next week, they will go to Tallahassee to meet with senators about the issue. “We will tell them that these pills are destroying our community,” Colbert said.
In February, Attorney General Pam Bondi introduced proposals that would cut down on the problem, one of which would be to establish a database that tracks prescription sales. But Florida Gov. Rick Scott is firmly against such a database, saying it is costly and infringes on privacy.
Each day, about seven people die by overdosing on prescription pills, Burch reports. In the first half of 2010, Florida doctors prescribed nine times more oxycodone than the rest of the entire country.
While the problem is reportedly great in Florida, the drugs find their way to Kentucky, through traffickers who travel to Florida to “doctor shop” to gain prescriptions for pain medications at each stop. They then return to Kentucky, which does have a tracking database, to sell the pills they’re collected. (Read more)