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Governor Rick Scott’s efforts to combat opioid crisis lacks support

Posted on 01-11-2018 Posted in Addiction, Addiction Treatment, Substance Abuse - 0 Comments

Governor Rick Scott’s efforts to combat opioid crisis lacks support

Florida Governor Rick Scott has found little support for his opioid bill. Of the 200-odd lobbyists that the legislature has drawn, most seek to counter it. This is surprising considering that Florida is one of the worst hit states by the opioid crisis. According to data from the Florida Department of Health, physicians had given prescription opioids to nearly 3.6 million people in 2016. Though the people lived in acute pain, a majority had not used opioids before. Of these, a resounding 40 percent or nearly 1.4 million patients were put on a seven-day prescription course.

Surprisingly, Purdue Pharma – the maker of OxyContin – has come in support of the bill. OxyContin is blamed for abetting the opioid epidemic when the company aggressively marketed it to unsuspecting doctors. Others bent on opposing the bills HB 21 and SB 8 include the Governor’s fellow Republicans and some conservatives. Also standing in the opposition are doctors and drug majors who fear losing a chunk of their profits if the bill passes through.

Best practices to control opioid epidemic

Governor Scott has suggested some “best practices” to address the growing opioid crisis and prevent more people falling into the deadly trap of addiction. These are:

  • Doctors should refrain from dispensing more than three-day painkiller course for acute pain.
  • One state’s database of prescription drugs should be shared with other states.
  • Doctors should have a look at the database before prescribing opioids.
  • Doctors should complete the training related to the best prescription practices. For example, combining benzos with opioids can have adverse effects. Sometimes, under the pressure from patients or in a hurry to write off a prescription, doctors tend to overprescribe or give false advice.

Meant only for Schedule II drugs, such as OxyContin and Fentanyl, the legislature provides a window of opportunity to the attending doctors to provide medications for longer in instances of acute pain. It would be valid only if the necessary medical proof regarding is provided.

Although Purdue Pharma officially declared its support for the bill, in between there seems to be a blurring of lines and intent. Covertly, as is evident from records, the pharmaceutical major has employed lobbyist Michael Corcoran to speak on its behalf. Incidentally, he is the brother of the House Speaker, Richard Corcoran, who is quite candid about his support for Scott’s bill.

Getting freedom from opioid addiction

Using opioids for acute pain increases drug tolerance and dependence. The risk heightens with the duration of use. As the addiction sets in, a user may resort to illegal means of acquiring the drug, like doctor shopping, borrowing a friend’s prescription or stealing from home cabinets. Failure of physicians and pharmacies to go through their medical records and overprescription worsen the problem.

An expert in mental health service and substance abuse treatment, Sovereign Health of Florida provides top-notch services at its Fort Myers and Pompano Beach facilities. A comprehensive treatment for prescription drug addiction may involve detoxification to cleanse the body, followed by therapy and counseling. Recovery from drug abuse and dependence could be a lifelong process. Therefore, along with recovery management programs, our facilities provide aftercare support as well. For more information on our holistic treatment plans at the finest prescription drug rehab in Florida, call our 24/7 helpline. You can even chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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