Regulations to control Florida’s pain clinics and “pill mills” are in limbo as legislators “inadvertently” stopped progress due to funding. According to the Miami Herald, a new law designed to stop excessive state spending has tied up the prescription drug regulations scheduled to take effect just a few days ago.
Among changes that were to be made was a set of standards for all pain clinics to adhere to. Previously, if they didn’t accept insurance, they weren’t subject to regulations. This legislation would have changed that. It also would have implemented random and unannounced inspections of the clinics.
These pain clinics have become a hub for the prescription drug trade in Florida and across the country as addicts and dealers alike go see a doctor or practitioner and walk out with a prescription for strong narcotics and pain pills.
Dealers often use a group of people posing as patients and may visit several clinics, having each patient get a new prescription for something like Oxycodone or other high powered drugs. These powerful drugs are highly addictive and in serious demand, making it a lucrative practice.
Shady pill mills also see the trade as a money making opportunity. Since they don’t accept insurance, cash only patients provide a steady stream of income for hassle-free prescriptions.
Next in getting these regulations in place is a new cost estimate. If the changes have more than a $1 million impact in the upcoming 5 years, they will have to be ratified by the legislature and won’t likely be heard until next session.
Also in need of funding is the prescription drug database that was scheduled to be put in place this week. There is a current contract dispute and lack of funding because lawmakers ordered the database to run solely on donations.
While all of these changes seek to slow the flow of prescription drugs into the marketplace, what’s been done about the demand? You can only regulate drugs so much when you have people suffering from addiction. They will find a way to get their pills.
Sadly, the only way the demand for prescription drugs is being handled is through the criminal justice process. And while going to jail might cut back on demand for the time being, it isn’t a long term solution as it doesn’t treat the actual addiction problem.
If you are facing drug charges and you have a relatively clean criminal record, there is a chance you could get probation in lieu of jail time. This would open up the opportunity for drug treatment programming if it’s available in your area.
Contact our offices today to discuss your case and for a free consultation. We can talk about your options and what sort of penalties you might be facing.