Florida Drug Statistics
Florida Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
For many years, Florida doctors were notorious for overprescribing drugs, especially opioids. More recently, the state has put multiple laws in place to prevent the over prescription and spread of opioid addiction.
The availability of prescription drugs in Florida has gone down in recent years thanks to E-FORCSE, a prescription drug monitoring database that prevents individuals from obtaining multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors.
- Doctors are writing fewer opioid prescriptions- Number of prescriptions has gone down 5.5%
- Doctors are prescribing less powerful opioids – Prescriptions are 14.6% less powerful compared to last year
However, constricting the supply of prescription opioids on the street causes some people to switch to heroin when prescription opioids become harder to obtain.
Florida Drug Laws - Possession & Trafficking
Having drugs in your possession is a serious crime in Florida. Florida drug possession laws are divided into five schedules. The severity of the punishment depends on:
- The schedule of the drug that you possess
- The amount of the substance you possess
- Any prior criminal convictions (especially drug-related)
Florida Drug Schedules 1-V
|Schedule I||High potential for abuse, No medical use||Heroin, Cannabis (unless prescribed), LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin Mushrooms|
|Schedule II||High potential for abuse, Restricted medical use||Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Codeine, Fentanyl, Carfentanil|
|Schedule III||Some potential for abuse, Accepted for medical use||Buprenorphine, Anabolic Steroids|
|Schedule IV||Low potential for abuse, Accepted for medical use||Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan|
|Schedule V||Lowest potential for abuse, Accepted for medical use||Combination medications with low dose narcotics Ex. (tylenol + codeine)|
Because of the state’s physical location and geography, Florida is one of the nation’s top drug trafficking hot spots. The laws for dealing or trafficking drugs are based on the same drug scheduling system as possession.
Punishment for Drug Trafficking in Florida
|Schedule||Punishment for simple possession (small amounts)||Punishment for selling, dealing or manufacturing|
|Schedule I||Felony (3rd Degree)||Felony (2nd Degree)|
|Schedule II||Felony (3rd Degree)||Felony (2nd Degree)|
|Schedule III||Felony (3rd Degree)||Felony (3rd Degree)|
|Schedule IV||Felony (3rd Degree)||Felony (3rd Degree)|
|Schedule V||Misdemeanor (1st Degree)||Misdemeanor (1st Degree)|
Although marijuana is a schedule I drug, penalties for possession and distribution are less harsh.
Florida Drug Testing Laws
Florida also has laws on the books surrounding drug testing.
Florida Newborn Drug Testing Laws
Using drugs while pregnant can have disastrous consequences for the child. There are no specific criminal charges for abusing drugs while pregnant in Florida, it falls under the definition of child abuse.
Florida’s Healthy Start program is designed to address substance abuse during pregnancy by giving information, resources and an opportunity for treatment to expecting mothers that struggle with addiction.
Doctors refer expecting mothers to Healthy Start if they if they suspect substance abuse, based on:
- Their own declaration or their responses to drug-related questions
- Positive drug test
- Reported by family member or friend
- Medical staff who witness drug use or patterns of drug use
- The infant is found to be exposed to illicit drugs in the womb
Florida Drug Testing for Welfare
Florida does not conduct random drug tests on welfare recipients, but the state can test you if they suspect you are abusing substances while on welfare.
Lawmakers in Florida instituted random drug testing for welfare recipients in 2011. Florida drug testing welfare statistics determined the law was not successful and was repealed just a few months later when the courts declared it unconstitutional.
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