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Parents, Physicians Unite and Declare: State of Emergency

BRADENTON, Fla., Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 'We are in a State of Emergency at the hands of prescription drugs.'  That is the message that concerned Florida residents are desperate for people to hear. Floridians are dying at a rate of at least 7 per day due to prescription drug abuse and statistics show it is a national problem, which is why Families Against Addictive Drug Abuse (FAADA) is calling for an immediate Congressional hearing to help put an end to the epidemic.

"If 7 manatee washed up dead each day in our state, residents, government, and media would be demanding answers. Yet, prescription drug abuse takes at least 7 human lives daily and it goes relatively unnoticed. That is an atrocity," said Bradenton based interventional pain physician, Lora Brown, MD of Coastal Orthopedics & Pain Management. Dr. Brown has been working tirelessly to help put an end to the crisis.

She and other Florida physicians support implementing a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) in Florida. Dr. Brown has been an integral part in getting Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation passed in the state. PDMP systems already exist in 80-percent of the country with a proven record for curbing doctor shopping and wholesale distribution of controlled substances, yet more needs to be done.

  • Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have become the second leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide and the leading cause in 15 states.

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 1.87 million people in the U.S. are dependent on or abusing prescription opioids.

  • Every day in the U.S., an average of 2,000 teens (not under physician care) use prescription drugs for the first time.

Cindy Harney knows the devastating effects prescription drugs can have.  She and her son Garrett are from Manatee County, FL. When she walked into his bedroom on the morning of August 20th, she thought he looked so much like he had when he was a little boy.  But actually her little boy was gone forever. She laid down beside him for one last time before the emergency crew arrived.  Garrett had accidentally overdosed on prescription drugs. He took a mixture of Xanax and OxyContin before bed, put his head on his pillow and never woke up again. "I thought, 'Who does this?  Who plans a funeral for their 20-year-old kid?'," said Harney. "Nothing brings my boy back.  But if I can save another child and save another family from the pain of losing their child, then I'll continue to fight to try to make a difference."

Harney with Ruth Lyerly, another mom who lost her son too soon because of prescription drug abuse, started Families Against Addictive Drug Abuse (FAADA). This week the organization is in Washington, DC speaking to dozens of legislators on behalf of thousands of family members nationwide who have lost a loved one to prescription abuse.  

FAADA and numerous parents and physicians, like Dr. Brown, will not rest until a solution is found. "We're asking people to contact their congressmen and demand a congressional hearing to begin a discussion to end this crisis. Obviously what we have been doing over the past few years has not worked. People are dying. This needs to be resolved," said Dr. Brown.

To contact your state congressman visit:

About Families Against Addictive Drug Abuse (FAADA)

FAADA strives for communities that are fully engaged in preventing the occurrence of addiction and deaths related to substance abuse which are the result of easy access, lack of information, or lack of effective treatment resources.  They accomplish this through effective education, networking, and advocacy from the community level and upward.  For more information visit

About Coastal Orthopedics & Sports Medicine/Pain Management

Coastal Orthopedics has been serving the Sarasota-Bradenton area for over thirty years. There are five offices and two surgery centers on Florida's West Coast.  Coastal Orthopedics' staff of 17 board-certified and fellowship trained physicians and surgeons provide patients with the very latest in pain and orthopedic treatment technology.  They strive to repair and heal injuries relating to the entire musculoskeletal system. With a world-renowned staff of physicians and surgeons ranging in specialty care in sports medicine, joint replacement, pain management and rehabilitation, patients can be treated for athletic injuries as well as restoration of function and activity through non-surgical, physician-guided strengthening, therapy, medications, injections, and stretching. For more information visit

SOURCE Coastal Orthopedics
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