Published: Aug 15, 2011 7:39 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - New data shows that prescription drug deaths in Florida increased nearly 9 percent last year compared to 2009 despite aggressive efforts by law enforcement to educate people about the dangers and to crack down on illegal distribution.
Gov. Rick Scott said Monday he believes stronger legislation and regulation, along with more money for police, is helping in 2011.
Florida has been a leading source for the illicit purchase of prescription drugs, with addicts and dealers from across the Southeast flocking to pain clinics.
Data released Monday shows there were 2,710 deaths in Florida last year caused by prescription drugs, compared to 2,488 in 2009.
Scott says the effort to stem the scourge is a personal one for him because he has a brother who has abused drugs for many years.

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