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Drug trafficking, prescription fraud and Florida penalties

One example of the opioid crisis that exists nationwide is a recent Florida incident involving the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

The Office of the Attorney General has confirmed that authorities broke up a prescription drug trafficking ring and arrested seven people, including a pharmacist. If convicted, the participants face serious penalties.

Abuse of prescription drugs

For many patients, especially those on Medicaid, opioids are easy to obtain. Unfortunately, some patients eventually become addicted to prescription drugs as do some doctors, nurses and pharmacists because they have easy access to drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycodone. Then there is the issue of drug diversion, the transfer of prescription drugs for illegal use or distribution.

About the recent arrest

The seven people Florida authorities recently arrested were using false documents to recruit patients for the purpose of ordering prescription opioids. The pharmacist implicated in the scheme delivered prescriptions to the group. The traffickers kept an inventory of drugs at an office location and distributed the opioids to buyers throughout Southern Florida. Each member of the group faces a charge of conspiracy to traffic drugs in addition to the actual trafficking of oxycodone and oxymorphone.

A few facts

Across the country, about 100 people die each day from a drug overdose, and opioids account for 75% of such deaths. According to the Florida Attorney General, 17 people die daily in the Sunshine State from opioid abuse. 

Legal matters

Florida is serious about stopping drug abuse in its many forms and the state imposes harsh penalties. Depending on the circumstances, a conviction can range from hefty fines, mandatory counseling and probation to years of prison time. Anyone charged with illegal drug manufacturing, possession, distribution or trafficking should not wait to explore the legal options available. The members of the drug trafficking ring recently arrested are currently awaiting their day in court.

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