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Prescription Drug Abuse Still a Focus for Pinellas County

The county has created a four-part series called 'Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse.'

According to Pinellas County officials, every 32 hours someone dies of a drug overdose in Pinellas County. In 2010, 280 people died of accidental drug overdoses with 249 of these deaths being due to abuse of prescription pain medication. 

To help combat the pill epidemic, the county has created a four-part TV series called, Fighting Back Against Prescription Drug Abuse. 

The series, according to a news release, profiles drug abuse problem in Pinellas County and what local officials are doing to combat the issue through law enforcement, local ordinances and public education. 

  • In part one, guests Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Director of Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services Tim Burns relate local efforts to control illicit drug pill mills. 
  • In part two, Laurie Serra, cofounder of the Pinellas Chapter of Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) and Jackie Griffin from Operation PAR and the Live Free Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition discuss public education efforts to enlighten parents and young people to the dangers of prescription drug abuse. 
  • Part three finds Dr. Cynthia Lewis-Younger from Tampa General Hospital and Judge Dee Anna Farnell of Pinellas County’s Drug Court talking about the dangers of synthetic drugs and the legal problems associated with their control. 
  • The program concludes as Sgt. Dan Zsido from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and Jan Tracy from Pinellas County Solid Waste explain safe ways to dispose of prescription medication including the county’s Operation Medicine Cabinet initiative. 

The vidoes can be viewed online, and they will be airing on PCC-TV on Bright House Channel 622, Verizon Channel 44 and Knology Channel 18. The videos can also be viewed on Patch by clicking on the videos below the picture at the top right of the story. 

cherylwithac October 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
The plan is all talk, no action. Just put the pill mills out of business. Other cities have done so. Where there is a will, there is a way.
ann October 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I go to a pain managrment. Take my medication right, but TRY, AND I SAY TRY, to fill your meds. Suddenly, in the last 6 months, instead of just dropping off, at the same pharmacy, you've used, for the exact same meds. And picking them up later, you Are told we don't them, MAYBE IN FOUR DAYS!!!!! ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN ON PAIN MEDS., KNOW YOU CAN'T GO FOUR DAYS. WITHOUT GETTING REALLY SICK. So then , because they are not allowed to tell you where you can get your meds. You have to go from pharmacy to pharmacy, until you can find one who has your scripts. It don't matter ig you have cancer, or anything else. Nobody is fixing the problem...DOCTORS, WHO RUN PILL MILLS.... THEY GET THIER DRUGS, WHEN NOBODY ELSE CAN!!! THIS IS CRaZY. I hurt to bad to chase after my perscriptions. I'm not alone. Husband beeing treated at cancer center, and most of the patients get pain meds., and have to do the same thing. Find a pharmacy that has your meds, they say it's against the law, for them to call another pharmacy to see if they have it. So all our money spent on treatment, gas is sky high, and no matter how you feel, you have to chase all over to find your meds, OR DO WITHOUT, FIGHT THE PAIN, GET SICK FROM WITHDRAWL, AND TRY TO WAIT THE FOUR DAYS. I ONLY WISH ANYONE WHO COULD FIX THIS, COULD FEEL LIKE WE DO. YOU ARE ALREADY SICK, AND THIS ONLY ADDS TO AN ALREADY BAD SITUATION.
Fred Pether October 19, 2012 at 06:31 PM
The fast growing problem of prescription drug abuse brings untold misery to thousands of families each year and as the article mentions, much of the street supply comes from theft of tablets from friends and relatives. This You Tube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wILavcTcjb4 shows a clever pill bottle that is tamper evident so Grandma can easily see if anyone other than herself has opened the bottle. If you would like further details please contact me fred@oneworlddmg.com. Fred Pether
Freelancelot October 19, 2012 at 07:53 PM
cherylwithac, How do other cities put pill mills out of business? How would that solve the problem of prescription drug abuse? It is interesting to note that prescription and synthetic drugs are considered dangerous than meth or crack to a greater percentage of people who took this poll: http://www.testcountry.com/usefullinks.html?page=919
Gwen Thomas October 19, 2012 at 10:43 PM
When insurance companies start paying for alternative health care, like acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and physical therapies, 'pain management' clinics will have options for their patients other than prescription pills. Pain management doctors are really no different than drug dealers.
Ian Tilp October 20, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I will pray for you to find the strength to overcome your opiate addiction. God bless you.
Ian Tilp October 20, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Where will all of the countless opiate addicts obtain their drugs, once the pill-mills are run out of business? Heroin dealers will take their place. Who is responsible for this mess?
WAKE UP! October 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Two Pinellas County schools are undergoing a 3-week TAKEOVER by a program called WAKE UP! - we teach high school students the dangers of prescription drug abuse by using the science behind addiction. www.wakeupnow.org
carol alvey December 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Lost my 33 yr old daughter in sept due to pill mill dr....legal drug pusher
Gwen Thomas January 03, 2013 at 01:32 AM
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, Carol. Too many times I've heard about the same tragedy. It is my personal passion to prevent the downward spiral of drug abuse. I practice alternative medicine and natural pain management in hopes that my patients will find another way, another life, another chance.

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