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Florida Police Agencies Challenged by the Prevalence of Illegal Prescription Drugs

A sharp uptick in the use of illegally obtained prescription drugs by residents of several southern states is being blamed on so-called "pill mills" springing up throughout Florida. Perhaps most troubling is that many of those taking advantage of readily available prescription drugs - whether obtained from a pill mill (most often a "pain relief clinic" set up under the auspices of a legitimate treatment center but serving the sole purpose of writing prescriptions for powerful painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin and relaxants like Xanax or Valium), bought one pill at a time on the street or stolen from family members who legitimately possess the medicine - are young people.

Most addicts caught illegally possessing prescription medications start in legitimate need of pain relief stemming from an injury or health condition, and then find that they are unable to function without the drug long after their pain has subsided.

Law enforcement officials in Bradford County, for example, now have eight times as many prescription drug possession cases than they do cases involving traditional street drugs like cocaine, heroin, crack or marijuana and club drugs like Ecstasy (sometimes called "X" or "E"). Overdoses are sadly common there as well, taking more than two dozen lives in the past three years - roughly the same number killed in motor vehicle accidents.

There are movements in the legislatures of several southern states to try and "beef up" laws punishing those dispensing controlled medications, but until that time, law enforcement officials are using aggressive and creative methods to crack down on suppliers. With a more aggressive approach aimed at eliminating pill mills and teenage "cocktail parties" (wherein several young people will bring in their parents' medications and mix them together to enhance the effects of each), comes a higher risk of erroneously accusing legitimate businesses offering therapeutic services. If you or a loved one has been accused of illegally possessing or distributing prescription medications, you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney today to protect your rights and learn more about your legal options.

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