Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Florida has one of the highest rates for opioid-involved doctor arrests

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 12:20 PM

  • Photo via Shutterstock
A new study points out that Florida doctors have played a significant role in the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.

The website Detox analyzed data from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Cases Against Doctors” report, which provides a glimpse into the arrest and prosecution rates of physicians who overprescribe pharmaceuticals across the country, and found that Florida ranks fifth overall for DEA physician arrests.

According to the report, for every 10,000 physicians located in the Sunshine State, just more than four physicians are arrested on charges related to overprescribing pharmaceuticals, particularly opioids. At 72 percent, the report found that opioids are the most common substance involved in physician arrests, with almost 1-in-3 being related to overprescribing oxycodone and 1-in-4 related to overprescribing hydrocodone.

The report goes on to note how for every 100,000 citizens in Florida, almost 24 overdose deaths occur on average.

A study published in the Journal of Opioid Management in November found that just a portion of physicians that joined a state prescription database designed to help cut down on "doctor shopping" and opioid abuse are actually using it. According to the study, only 21 percent of physicians and 57 percent of pharmacists had registered for the databased prior the study's release on Nov. 20.

On Tuesday, state Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a lawsuit against five of the nation's largest opioid manufacturers and distributors, calling it "the most comprehensive lawsuit in the country."

For Detox's full breakdown of the DEA study, click here.

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