Once we are successful in shutting down “Pill Mills” there will be a need to treat those who are addicted. Already, the numbers are staggering. Admissions to Florida's treatment programs for prescription medication abuse increased 124% between 2004 and 2008. In 2010, 19.1% of all substance abuse treatment admissions were primarily for prescription opioids. Broward County reports that 50% of their Drug Court cases are individuals who are charged with the illegal possession of prescription drugs.
To buttress public safety, drug courts work to reduce substance abuse and crime; thus it has been appropriately labeled the “crown jewel” of the Florida treatment system. Drug courts seek to end the cycle of persistent drug abuse, and subsequent prison sentences by effectively treating drug addicted, non-violent offenders. This feat is achieved by assessing offenders, linking them to treatment, and then holding them accountable at every turn through judicial sanctions. The success of the movement first originated in Miami-Dade County in 1989, and is now demonstrated each day in the more than 2,500 drug courts across the country that serves over 120,000 people.