Media Contact

Larissa Doucette

In Florida, deaths tied to prescription drugs dropped by 17.7% and deaths caused by oxycodone plunged by 41%, state officials announced in a recent report. The decrease continues the trends established in 2011, when overall drug related deaths in the state fell by 6.4%; in 2012, drug related deaths dropped another 8.8% when compared to 2011. A news release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) attributed these results, in part, to efforts including implementation of a state prescription drug monitoring program, pill mill laws, and the Statewide Drug Enhancement Strike Force teams, but FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said that there was still work to be done. Further, the FDLE noted that despite these declines prescription “drugs continued to be found more often than illicit drugs in cause of death.” In addition, the state saw an increase in deaths related to the use of certain prescription drugs, such as hydromorphone (63% increase), as well as heroin related deaths (89.5% increase) from 2011 to 2012.