Painkiller Drug Abuse on the Rise
Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in America. Approximately 7,000,000 people use psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The medications most commonly abused and distributed illegally include:
- pain relievers;
- stimulants; and
Many of these drugs hitting the street are traced back to doctors and pharmacists illegally dispensing drugs for huge profits. For instance, one New Jersey physician allegedly put $10 million worth of pills on streets, according to the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation.
The Crackdown on Pill Mills
Prescription drugs are a controlled substance and wrongful distribution of them is a criminal act in Florida. The law is bringing the hammer down on those involved in pill mills and doling out harsh penalties while doing so. Investigators will follow suspects and track a case for years to build enough evidence to make an arrest.
Florida Code Chapter 893 lays out specific regulations on the prescription and distribution of controlled substances:
- pharmacists can only dispense drugs with a valid prescription;
- the prescription has to contain accurate and detailed information;
- doctors can only prescribe drugs in good faith; and
- physicians and pharmacists must comply with Florida’s drug monitoring program.
Pill Mills Have a Technological Advantage
Many of the people involved in pill mills are using technology to increase their sales. Social media is becoming a popular way to distribute (and get busted for) pills, as are online pharmacies and even open-air drug markets.
But the federal government agencies are coming up to speed. They are becoming savvy to pill-pushing operations and are cracking down hard.
For instance, one South Florida man was recently arrested in a pill mill conspiracy and faces 30 years in prison, forfeiture of $4.25 million as well as other assets, according to the Orlando Sun-Sentinel. In another case, seven people were indicted in South Florida for a huge illegal prescription drug operation that was raking in over $4 million dollars, according to CBS 4.
Contacting Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
Healthcare fraud, prescription fraud, and drug trafficking all are serious crimes in Florida and state and federal penalties are stringent. If you are under investigation for fraud or trafficking, speak with a criminal defense lawyer to discuss how to best handle your case.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale healthcare fraud attorney at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove. We can look at your case and determine what types of defenses are applicable to your situation. Call us today (954) 861-0384 for a free, no-obligation consultation.