MIAMI (AP) - Fatalities caused by prescription drug abuse are
quickly rising in Florida.
A new report from the state's medical examiners shows deaths
from the prescription painkiller oxycodone jumped 26 percent in
2009 from the previous year.
Florida is a leading source for the illicit purchase of
prescription drugs, with addicts and dealers from across the
Southeast flocking to pain clinics.
Prescription drugs continued to outpace illegal drugs as a cause
of death last year, accounting for almost 2,500 fatalities. Drug
control officials say the vast majority are accidental overdoses.
The state is launching a database to track painkiller sales,
which lawmakers hope will prevent the same patient from receiving
narcotics from multiple doctors.