The prescription painkiller oxycodone killed more Floridians than ever last year, says the St. Petersburg Times. A report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that oxycodone was the cause of 1,185 state deaths in 2009, a 26 percent increase from the year before and a whopping 249 percent increase from 2005.
The report comes at a time when attention to prescription drug abuse in Florida is at an all-time high, with well-publicized police raids at Tampa Bay area pain clinics. The state legislature recently passed laws aimed at cracking down on the problem, including creating a prescription drug monitoring program set to start this year. Law enforcement agencies have decided to devote more resources to catching prescription drug abusers.