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  • Florida Passes New Laws to Combat a Growing Drug Abuse Problem

Florida Passes New Laws to Combat a Growing Drug Abuse Problem

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Following the 2016 election, Florida has passed several laws aimed at reducing Florida’s growing prescription drug and over-the-counter drug abuse problem. Some these laws are aimed at healthcare policies and their respective benefits. With the rising number of opioid addiction cases in the state of Florida, Florida legislators have taken steps to limit this growth, and reduce the number of drug abuse incidents in Florida.

Effective January 1, 2017, Senate Bill 422 (SB 422), provides that any health insurance policy which provides coverage for opioid painkillers is not permitted to mandate usage of unlabeled opioid products over FDA approved deterrent-abuse labeled opioids.

Additionally, SB 422 states that only those insurance policies requiring pre-authorization for opioid painkillers without an abuse-deterrent label are permitted to enforce the same pre-authorization requirements for deterrent-abuse labeled opioid painkillers

In addition to the race to reduce opioid abuse, Florida legislators have also made strides to prevent drug abuse by enforcing tighter restraints on the distribution of dextromethorphan to minors. Dextromethorphan is a component in many over-the-counter drugs including popular cough syrups. This active ingredient is a large part of what makes these couch medicines addictive.

In order to combat the likelihood of dextromethorphan abuse, Senate Bill 938 (SB 938), prohibits the distribution of any drug containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to minors. Signed into law by Governor Scott on April, 1 and effective January 1, 2017, Senate Bill 938 is intended to prevent dextromethorphan abuse by minors by requiring that any individual assumed to be between eighteen and twenty-five years old to show identification in order to purchase any medication containing dextromethorphan. Manufacturers, distributors, or sellers found in violation of this mandate will be penalized by a maximum fine of $100 per violation.

Tallahassee Prescription Drug Defense Lawyer


Although prescription drugs and certain over-the-counter drugs can be useful when used responsibly, there is always an underlying risk of abuse when administered irresponsibly.

If you were arrested and charged with illegal possession of a prescription drug or a related offense, please call Pumphrey Law at (850) 681-7777 to discuss your charges with an experienced attorney. We will work with you towards the most desirable option.

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Don Pumphrey Jr.
Donald Pumphrey Jr.

Attorney Don Pumphrey Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney.

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