The 67 sheriffs of Florida are committed to the elimination of prescription drug abuse in our state.
This wall of photos puts a face on the many victims of prescription drug overdose in Florida
FACT: In 2010, Florida was home to 90 of the nation's top 100 oxycodone-buying doctors and 53 of the top 100 oxycodone-buying pharmacies, all operating under so-called "pain clinics." The state became nicknamed the "Oxy Express."
FACT: In January 2011, abuse of prescription drugs had reached epidemic proportions, claiming the lives of seven Floridians daily. The recently elected Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi went to work. Their combined efforts with law enforcement led to the creation of Florida's Statewide Drug Strike Force in March 2011. Within one year of its formation, teams had made 2,150 arrests and seized nearly half a million pills, 391 weapons and $4.7 million. The seven strike force teams are coordinated through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, each led by a sheriff and police chief.
FACT: The 2011 "Interim Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons Report" showed the number of prescription-drug related deaths had fallen nearly 8% compared to 2010. Florida has also seen its number of "top 100" oxycodone-buying doctors drop from 90 to 13 and the number of "top 100" oxycodone-buying pharmacies drop from 53 to 19. Florida is now considered a model state for dealing with prescription drug problems.
FACT: The Florida Drug Strike Force is a model of how city, county, state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies can work together to address a complex societal problem. Our progress over the last 12 months has been swift and steady. We are cutting off the illicit supply of prescription pain killers in our state and across the nation, making our communities better and safer for law-abiding, hard-working Floridians.
FACT: Despite the successes, Florida law enforcement isn't backing off. We will remain vigilant and focused on further pill enforcement methods.
Sheriffs serving on the Strike Force:
Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen, Zone 1
Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter, Zone 2
Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Zone 3
Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger, Zone 4
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Zone 5
Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight, Zone 6
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, Zone 7
See the Florida Sheriffs Association's legislative position on Prescription Drug Monitoring. The sheriffs support efforts to track and monitor pharmacies and dispensing physicians who prescribe controlled substances. >>Position Paper
Other valuable resources:
Good Medicine, Bad Behavior: Drug Diversion in America
Florida's Prescription Drug Diversion and Abuse Roadmap 2012-2015 (pdf), Attorney General Pam Bondi
E-FORCSE (Electronic - Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation program)
Florida PDMP Foundation with other valuable links
National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
Do you have a link or resource related to this effort? Please email us.