The rate of drug overdose deaths in Florida continues to climb according to a recent report released by the state medical examiner’s office.
The report found that the number of drug-related deaths in Florida increased 22 percent between 2015 and 2016 and the number of opioid-related deaths (5,726) soared by 35 percent. In 2016, more Floridians died due to prescription drugs than any type of street drug. One of the ways that the state is trying to stem the opioid tide is by implementing a strict Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
What is a PDMP?
The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL) defines a PDMP as an electronic statewide database of data on the substances prescribed and dispensed within the state. All U.S. states now have some form of PDMP, which is supposed to address the worsening prescription drug epidemic in the country. While these programs are designed and operate differently to a degree, some of their common features include:
- Real-Time Data. When a pharmacist dispenses a controlled substance to a patient, the data should not only enter the system in real-time, but the pharmacist will also have access to the most current data on that patient.
- Universal Use. PDMPs must be adopted statewide by healthcare providers and pharmacists to have the greatest impact.
- Ease of Use. A PDMP should be simple to access and use, making its use more widespread.
- Actively Managed. PDMPs can not only prevent dangerous drugs from being overprescribed, but the data from these systems can also help regulators and providers spot trends to help battle the addiction crisis.
Florida’s PDMP to Take Effect in 2018
New requirements for the state of Florida’s E-FORCSE PDMP went online effective January 1, 2018. As of that date, each controlled substance that is dispensed in the state must be reported in the E-FORCSE system as quickly as possible, but the reporting can take place no later than the close of the next business day. Even if a dispenser has no transactions to report, they are still required to submit a report to the database indicating no activity.
The E-FORCSE program was first created by the Florida legislature in 2009 in response to the growing opioid epidemic. In 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency found that Florida had more than 900 unregulated pain pill clinics that were dispensing these dangerous drugs. The database reduced doctor shopping by 75 percent and the new regulations are meant to strengthen the use of the program by healthcare providers.
Get Help for Opioid Addiction at a Florida Drug Rehab
Being tied to a prescription drug addiction can be both demoralizing and terrifying. Even patients who begin taking prescription opioids for a legitimate pain issue run the risk of becoming addicted to opioids. If you or any of your loved ones are unable to break free from the grip of addiction, there is help available at a compassionate Florida drug rehab. Contact us now to learn more about admissions and take steps to begin your life free from drugs.