Prescription Drug Deaths Up in Tampa Bay

TAMPA (2011-8-16) -

New data shows that prescription drug deaths in Florida rose again last year, and that Pasco and Pinellas counties led the state in fatal overdoses.

Over 2700 people in Florida died last year from prescription drug overdose. That's more than the year before. About 750 of those deaths were from Pasco and Pinellas counties, far more than any other area of the state. Hillsborough County had almost 400 deaths.

Oxycodone was the biggest killer: it caused almost 3 times the deaths in Florida as cocaine.

Governor Rick Scott said he believes the numbers will decline this year thanks to new legislation, stronger regulation, and the efforts of Florida's Statewide Drug Enforcement Strike Force. Pharmacies and practitioners are purchasing less oxycodone this year compared to last, making the drug less available in Florida.

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