E-FORCSE- About the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring ProgramAlyssa
Prescription drugs are used for a variety of reasons, but among the long laundry list of possible side effects, there is sometimes a high risk of addiction. While many people are quick to brush off this warning, several people have learned the hard way.
Prescription Drug Abuse in Florida
A big part of the opioid epidemic in the United States is prescription painkillers. In Florida in particular, there were 1,282 overdose deaths from prescription opioids in 2018. In 2000, this number was under 500.1 Part of this problem with these drugs is their highly addictive nature. Between 21% to 29% of patients using prescription opioids for chronic pain will misuse them. Unfortunately, misuse can quickly lead to abuse. Even worse, people who do not get prescription drug addiction treatment for these addictions may move on to harder opioids like heroin or synthetic opioids. As Florida providers continue to write prescriptions at a higher rate than the national average, trouble with these prescription drugs will likely continue,2 but Florida has taken some steps to solve the problem with the prescription drug monitoring program.
The Florida prescription drug monitoring program also known as E-FORCSE (Electronic-Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substance Evaluation Program) was created in 2009 to better control the use of prescription drugs and prevent their abuse.
Part of the prescription drug monitoring program in Florida includes several regulations for practitioners for prescribing these drugs. Updates to the program include stricter reporting for practitioners including providing patient information. This type of reporting makes it easier for enforcement agencies to track doctor shopping and misuse among patients as well as foul play among prescribers. Before prescribing a controlled substance to a patient over the age of 16, doctors must first review the patient’s prescription history using the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. This requirement can help practitioners better recognize prescription drug abuse. Failure to abide by these rules can result in disciplinary action including taking the practitioner’s license for repeat offenses.
E-FORCSE does appear to be working as well. According to an overview of the drug monitoring program by Florida Health, the number of people who used five or more prescribers or pharmacies in quarter one of 2012 was 2,864 but by quarter two of 2018, this number decreased to 684.3 With fewer people appearing to abuse these prescription opioids, the number of people needing opioid addiction treatment will also hopefully decrease.
Although some troubling numbers may be decreasing, the opioid epidemic is still at large in Florida. Our drug rehab in Palm Beach is here to help those who are struggling with opioids and who cannot quit on their own.
If you or a loved one needs help for a behavioral health problem, call us today at 561-220-3981.