In state legislatures across the country, there are new laws being passed that will help curtail the ability to acquire and abuse prescription drugs. Various states are passing laws that directly have an effect on the selling or prescribing of controlled substances such as opioid pain medications.
These types of drugs are becoming harder and harder to get from pain clinics. Part of the reason is due to pain clinics now being required to be licensed by the state’s health department, prosecuting those acquiring multiple prescriptions for controlled substances, requiring identification before dispensing, or implementing tamper-resistant prescription forms .
These medications include:
The ‘Pill Mill’ Problem
The new laws are closing down many “pill mills,” or pain medication clinics. Numerous counties and states are experiencing almost epidemic proportions of prescription drug addiction and abuse. However, these new laws are rapidly closing the door to easy access and the doors to the pain clinics, and the owners, doctors, etc. that were involved with these pill mills.
The individuals involved with the pill mills are now being prosecuted and indicted for drug trafficking, engaging in corrupt activities, and a multitude of other drug related offenses. There is even a racketeering conspiracy case in Florida that is against the “nation’s largest criminal organization involved in the illegal distribution of painkillers” per the FBI.
Getting to the Source of Pill Mills
Until recently, the laws were concentrated on the user, but now these new laws are in effect choking off the source and supply .
This is an important step to addressing prescription drug abuse. In 2008, the most recent statistical data available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 14,800 people in the US died from opioid drug overdose.
This number of deaths is more than those who died from overdosing on heroin or cocaine. Unfortunately, in Ohio, the leading cause of accidental deaths in 2007 was from drug overdoses. This surpassed car crashes, which used to be the leading cause of accidental deaths .
Finding a Better Way
Now that the pill mill sources for pain medications are closing down, a new focus needs to be implemented. There needs to be a concerted effort in providing education and treatment. Without the resources to overcome the addictions, those abusing pain killers will most likely move to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to get.