Florida pain clinics and state doctors came under the nation’s tightest drug restrictions recently. Beginning July 1, 2011, addictive painkillers such as oxycodone have to be obtained at pharmacies, and narcotics prescriptions can only be written by physicians. Legislators reacted to growing concerns about trends in Florida, where federal authorities say 90 of the nation’s top 100 oxycodone-purchasing physicians reside. Governor Rick Scott has called the situation “the scourge of our state.” The new legislation assigns penalties for overprescription, establishes a drug-monitoring database and provides funds to support law enforcement efforts. White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowski says spillover from the Florida “pill mills” has spread along the East Coast into Appalachia. His federal plan complements the Florida law but adds education about proper disposal of expired and unused medications. He also stresses that the problem is complex and will require multifaceted solutions, requiring the involvement of everyone: prosecutors, practitioners and governmental agencies. “It’s a real collaboration.” Restrictions don’t affect the types of medications used by conscious sedation dentists, stresses John Bitting. The DOCS Education regulatory counsel adds that “no one can argue with the need to properly dispose of medication or restrict illegal activities. But I’m particularly pleased by the emphasis placed on education. The therapeutic management of pain is not linked to addiction. And of course, opioids should not be confused with mild sedatives, which offer valuable and occasional relief to many phobic dental patients.” To learn more about the Florida legislation or discuss regulations in their states, DOCS Education members are encouraged to contact Bitting at John@Docseducation.org.

The information contained in this, or any case study post in Incisor, should never be considered a proper replacement for necessary training and/or education regarding adult oral conscious sedation. Regulations regarding sedation vary by state. This is an educational and informational piece. DOCS Education accepts no liability whatsoever for any damages resulting from any direct or indirect recipient's use of or failure to use any of the information contained herein. DOCS Education would be happy to answer any questions or concerns mailed to us at 3250 Airport Way S, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98134. Please print a copy of this posting and include it with your question or request.
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