Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings appeared at a press conference today to announce a unified effort to stop the growth of illegal pain clinics in Orange County.  Both men stated grave concern with statistics showing increases of prescription drug overdose deaths across Florida.

Mayor Crotty said that Orange County plans to propose and pass an ordinance that will limit the kinds of people who can own and run pain clinics.  A new ordinance will also establish standards for parking and business hours and will attempt to do away with “cash only” pain clinics.

I think Mayor Crotty and Sheriff Demings should be applauded for their focus on this very important issue.  I don’t agree with these gentlemen on everything, but I agree that pill mills are a problem that must be addressed sooner, rather than later.  Some might even argue that something could have been done sooner.

Nevertheless, I like the fact that these guys had their press conference today.  I like the message that this sends to the people who might be interested in opening one or more pill mills in Orange County — even though the County isn’t ready to pass an ordinance yet.

As an Orlando personal injury attorney who has lost more than one client to a prescription drug overdose after painful accidents, I fully support their taking time to make sure they get an ordinance that has been carefully considered, and artfully crafted.  At the same time, some caution should be exercised with this ordinance.  Legitimate pain clinics serve a well-recognized, vital, and important role in the care of chronic pain patients.  Orange County doesn’t want to create an environment where legitimate, high-quality health care is compromised in the name of catching or restricting criminals.

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