The Sunshine State will have several new laws that will take place on July 1, 2019. One of those laws will be “No Texting While Driving”. Law Enforcement Officers will now be able to pull over a driver for texting while driving. An officer will need no other reason issue a traffic citation other than texting while driving. Previous laws only permitted an officer to pull over a driver if they were texting as a secondary offense.
The new set of laws also prohibits holding a wireless communication device and in specific areas such as a school zone. In other words, you must be hands free, and not holding the phone in your hand and talking on the phone. The new laws are designed to keep distracted drivers from, well “getting distracted”. Distracted driving is a serious problem in Florida as well as throughout the nation. Our cell phones have become an addiction. The need to communicate has taken precedence over our safety as well as the safety of our fellow drivers.
Additional laws will include am easier pathway for the state to sue Opioid drug manufacturers for their role in the drug crisis. Florida is taking a strong position of the drug crisis and suing CVS and Walgreen’s Pharmacy for not having stronger controls in place. The state of Florida will also have access to pharmaceutical records that will allow them to monitor drugs that are being prescribed to patients. While I am hopeful that there will be a curbing in of abusive prescribing, there will also be an aftermath of intense suffering. As a nation along with the healing profession, we must find alternative ways for Americans to work through both acute and chronic pain. One possible technique for chronic pain suffers is Biofeedback.
No state that has been exempt from the Oipiod Crisis, including Florida. Addiction is a crisis in the United States of America, and the statistics are staggering. If you were going to finger point, then I would suggest you have a friend help you because your going to need more than your own ten fingers. Some individuals are simply intolerant to certain drugs, while others self-medicate. There are some doctors that over-prescribe while other doctors under-prescribe simply because they are afraid to lose their license to practice. Patients who suffer from chronic pain are now being told that they will no longer be able to receive their regular prescriptions for Opioids due to the risk of addictions, as well as the legal ramifications.
Drug manufactures were also engaged in a deadly scheme to hide the full impact that Oipiods had on the patient and how quickly one could become addicted. There were also little to no controls on what was being prescribed. Psychoeducation or informing patients what they were being prescribed never seemed to be a component in the process. Doctors don’t have time to take an extra 20 to 30 minutes to education their patients on the dangers of becoming addicted. Shipping containers full of deadly drugs are also illegally coming into the state. And there’s the occasional crooked doctor who isn’t satisfied with the lifestyle that is afforded to them from their private practice. One of those doctors was recently arrested in Florida for drug trafficking. Dr. Johnny Benjamin recently received a life sentence for the death of a woman who overdosed on the drugs that he was trafficking. Two individuals who were selling his drugs, turned into informants and testified against him.
How did we become a nation that is struggling with addiction and an opioid epidemic? More importantly, how do we heal? The numbers are staggering. Each and every day 130 Americans die from an overdose, specifically an opioid overdose.
Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. I recently read an article from the CDC that outlined the statistics on the current Opioid Epidemic in the United States. As a mental health counselor specializing in addictions and high-conflict families, I understand the impact of Opioid addiction. I have worked extensively with many clients on issues of addiction and its aftermath in my private practice in Vero Beach, Florida. My experience as a mental health counselor also includes working extensively with women and children in a homeless shelter. I am currently accepting new clients as well.
- From 1999 to 2017, more than 700,000 people have died from a drug overdose.
- Around 68% of the more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid.
- In 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 6 times higher than in 1999.
- On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose