Drug Enforcement Administration

In hospitals across the country, anesthesiologists and other doctors are facing significant shortages of injectable opioids. Drugs such as morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl are the mainstays of intravenous pain control and are regularly used in critical care settings like surgery, intensive care units and hospital emergency departments.

By the time Ann Marie Owen, 61, turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She was also hallucinating.

For four years, her doctor prescribed a wide range of opioids for transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

Hospital Director Charged With Prescription Drug Fraud

Feb 9, 2017
JIM DAMASKE / Tampa Bay Times

The executive director of a Central Florida hospital is facing charges after authorities say he used doctors' prescription numbers to fraudulently obtain pain pills.

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

Feds, Pharmacies Grapple With Pain Pill Dilemma

Oct 2, 2015
Associated Press

Susan Langston wiped away tears as she spoke of a 40-year-old woman who had struggled with cancer for a decade before a Fort Myers pharmacy refused to fill a prescription for pain medication.

  The owners of the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre and affiliated VIP Pharmacy are testifying against each other and other pill mill doctors to get their own sentences reduced, The Tampa Tribune reports.

Some doctors are complaining that crackdowns on prescription drug abuse in Florida make treating patients more difficult, according to the Tampa Bay Times.