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An Assessment of the Impact of a Multipronged Approach to Reducing Problematic Pain Clinics in Florida

NCJ Number
Date Published
20 pages
This study evaluated recent changes to Florida law and policy to reduce problematic pain clinics (pill mills) and criminal diversion of prescription opioids.
These changes entailed a multipronged effort that linked regulatory and criminal-law approaches. Quantitative data from the Florida Department of Health and qualitative data from in-depth interviews with law-enforcement officers assigned to pill-mill taskforces reveal steep declines in pain clinics and pill mills. Respondents credit some regulatory enhancements for the reduction, although they describe some interagency cooperation problems and emphasize that despite success, many troublesome establishments continue to operate. The results suggest that Florida's effort to reduce opioid diversion by tightening regulatory restrictions and law-enforcement scrutiny illustrates a multiagency approach to a problem spanning public health and criminal justice. This could be an example for other states seeking to combat problems that cannot be effectively addressed using regulatory or criminal law alone. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017