Florida leads nation in sale of Oxycodone with more than 400 million pills sold annually.
And it shows in our death rates.
An average of seven people die every day in Florida because of lethal overdoses from the illegal, non-medical misuse of one or more prescription drugs.
An additional seven persons die daily with at least one prescription drug detected in their bloodstream often in combination with alcohol or other drugs.
That is a total of 14 deaths per day in Florida related to prescription drug abuse.
There were 5,275 persons who died in Florida during 2009 and another 2,579 in the first half of 2010 with at least one prescription drug in their system identified as either the cause of death or present in the decedent. Most of these deaths were preventable.
Mike Scott is the Lee County sheriff. To arrange to have someone come out to your community to talk about this topic call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (239) 477-1400.
Treatment admissions for prescription opioid addiction increased 5.5 times in Florida over the past decade. Among those aged 12 to 30, the number of prescription opioid treatment clients rose from 488 in 1999 to 7,649 in 2009, a 1,467 percent increase.
The rate of hospital emergency department cases for non-medical Oxycodone misuse among those aged 21 to 25 in South Florida is nearly double the national per capita rate.
Benzodiazepines (e.g., Xanax, Klonopin, Valium) and muscle relaxants (e.g., Soma) are also frequently linked to overdose deaths and medical emergencies across Florida.
Eleven percent of Florida 12th graders say they have misused a prescription pain reliever non-medically in their life - 3.4 percent have done so in the last month.
The number of infants treated for withdrawal symptoms in Florida hospitals increased 173 percent between 2006 and 2009 with 635 cases were reported in the first half of 2010.
If you know someone with a problem call 211 or Southwest Florida Addiction Services at (239) 332-6989. This is a problem that if we all worked together we could make a significant impact in our community and in our youth.