Our DCF system is overwhelmed. “Drugs are what drive the child-welfare system” said Miami-Dade Circit Judge Jeri B, Cohen. We need strong community support to turn this around.
I would like to pass legislation in memory of Ahizya Osceola of Hollywood. The 3 year old that recently was found buried under a pile of dirty laundry in a trash bag after being reported missing by his stepmother. There were 4 reports to DCF during his short 3 years of life. This child was tortured his entire life. If you don’t like the effect do something about the cause.
The legislation proposed would strengthen the PDMP (prescription drug monitoring program) by mandating that prescribers use it. The database became law in 2011 but the doctors do not have to use it. And they do not. Over 20 other states include the mandate and it is proving effective in saving lives.
I started an organization over 5 years ago StoppNow (Stop the Organized Pill Pushers)Now. As a neonatal intensive care nurse I witnessed babies being born addicted to drugs and suffering excruciating pain while withdrawing. This is hard to watch and I could not just look the other way.
In addition to the suffering experienced by these infants is the cost. Rather than a two day hospital stay for a normal delivery these infants are in an intensive care unit for months. They are treated with morphine and clonidine to help them through withdrawal. They need physical therapists of help loosen their stiff limbs. They need speech therapists due to their tight oral musculature preventing them from being able to suck. This adds tens of thousands of dollars and sometimes more to the cost of their hospital stay. Taxpayer-supported Medicaid usually pays the bill.
I recently attended an event hosted by the Tower Forum in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The state Legislative session and lack of a balanced budget was the topic. The state of Florida is short billions of dollars. The needed money to support services in the area of health care, education and the environment is being drained by the system and simply not there.
Our state tax-payer money needs to be spent wiser. Our leaders must stop ignoring the devastation to our communities caused by addiction. Drug courts have had an amazing effect on helping people. The cost of jail is $104/day versus $40/day for treatment in Broward County.
Law enforcement and the DEA have worked tirelessly to try to eradicate this CDC declared epidemic from our state. It is often said that we can’t arrest our way out of this; yet little else has been done. Legislation would both help the state budget and make our communities safer.
In addition to legislation, the BOM (Board of Medicine) needs to uphold the reason for their existence. Taken from their website:
The Florida Board of Medicine was established “to ensure that every physician practicing in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice.” The practice of medicine is a privilege granted by the state.
They could have stopped this epidemic from occurring and could still put a stop to it. A pill mill could not operate without a doctor. The BOM must revoke licenses of drug dealer doctors. There are doctors serving prison sentences for money laundering with a clear license to practice.
When Vincent Coangello was arrested and his pain clinic shut down he was making $150,000/day. He is in prison. To date no doctor associated with his pill mills has been arrested or lost their license. In answer to a complaint filed;no wrongdoing was found. Where is the outrage. Call to demand the BOM be held accountable for their inaction against the high prescribing doctors. And call your legislators to mandate the PDMP.
Governor Rick Scott Attorney General Pam Bondi Surgeon General
toll free John Armstrong
850 488-7146 1 866-966-7226 850 245-4444
Legislators are hearing from the chronic pain sufferers who are having trouble filling their prescriptions. The opiate was never meant and is not effective treating chronic pain. If this is your doctors only answer —-find another doctor. The deaths from medical use has now surpassed deaths from non-medical use.
However, there is not a lack of pills. The DEA approved for production in 1997; 8.3 tons of oxycodone, in 2012;114 tons was approved for production. A 1,747% increase over the amount produced in 1996 the year Oxycontin first came to market. There are plenty of pills. And every pill on our streets originated with a doctor prescribing it.