Florida ‘Pill Mills’ crackdown lowered thousands of overdose death

According to findings of a recently conducted study, Florida “pill mills” crackdown has been successful in saving lives of thousands of people. The study is suggesting that because of this crackdown, the number of a heroin overdose and narcotic painkiller-induced deaths could be lowered significantly.

For those who don’t know: the term “pill mills” are used for the doctor-run clinics in which physicians purportedly prescribe narcotic painkillers for earning cash. The majority of these cases involve recommendation of painkillers like Vicodin, Oxycontin and Percocet by doctors even without examining the patient.

The study revealed that pill mills crackdown in the state of Florida managed to decrease the number of deaths caused by narcotic painkillers by more than 1,000 in around 34 months. Alene Kennedy-Hendricks of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who happens to be the study’s lead author, said that curbing the functioning of pill mills might help states to effectively reduce rates of deaths caused by prescription narcotic overdose as well as rates of deaths caused by overdose of all kinds of narcotics.

Kennedy-Hendricks added that today the frequency of deaths from overdose of different narcotic painkillers and heroin has reached such a high level that the matter cannot be ignored. He made it clear that he and his team feels that the main culprit behind this rise is pill mills, and this makes the new law extremely significant. The study carried out under the leadership of Kennedy-Hendricks confirmed that there’s an association between the new law and the decline in the rate of overdose deaths.


According to the study, around 90% of doctors who purchased the maximum amount of oxycodone in the US in 2010 were residents of Florida. A previously released study, on the other hand, suggested that primary care physicians tend to prescribe narcotic painkillers more frequently than physicians with other specializations.

Some time back, the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) announced that deaths caused by drug overdose have increased significantly in recent times. In 2014, the country has witnessed over 47,000 drug overdose deaths. This makes the effects of the crackdown on pill mills in Florida real good news for the country’s health officials. The researchers conducting this new study said the decrease in deaths caused by heroin might also be due to the change in law during 2010-2011.