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Florida Sees Drop in Deaths Caused by Prescription Drugs

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The number of prescription drug-related deaths decreased in Florida in 2011, according to a new report. Deaths related to oxycodone decreased more than 17 percent, according to The Miami Herald.

The number of deaths due to cocaine, heroin and the cancer pain medication Fentanyl increased last year, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced this week. The department released a report based on data from every medical examiner in the state.

Alcohol continued to be the most common substance found in drug-related deaths, the report found.

The decrease in prescription drug-related deaths comes as the state has worked to close down “pill mills,” pain clinics that sell pain medications to people shopping for narcotics.

Between 2010 and 2011, the number of people who died with a fatal amount of prescription drugs in their system decreased 6.37 percent. The number of people with prescription drugs in their system, which may or may not have led to their death, dropped 2.8 percent.

According to a Department of Law Enforcement news release, the drugs that caused the most deaths in Florida last year were benzodiazepines, oxycodone, methadone, cocaine, ethyl alcohol, morphine, hydrocodone and diazepam.

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