Nightly News | February 26, 2011
>> there was a major drug crack down today. pain killers sold illegally by doctors and widely available. even as these arrests were underway, there was a growing debate about the best way to combat this prescription drug abuse . mark potter has more tonight.
>> reporter: police in south florida arrested doctors and shut down clinics for allegedly selling thousands of prescription pain killers illegally.
>> florida has become the center of pain killers . the eoxyexpress.
>> reporter: officials say the pain clinics are easy fixes for addics.
>> they are a cash-only business. they don't take insurance. there is little if no physical exam and there are armed guards at the door.
>> reporter: prescription drug abuse in florida is now blamed for seven deaths per day. at a protest rally, this woman said her 24-year-old daughter, marcie is addicted to pain killers and in her sixth stint in rehab.
>> there is a new face of addition. it is the middle class all american kid.
>> reporter: in 2009 , nearly 1,000 babies in florida were born addicted suffering withdrawal symptoms.
>> reporter: the florida legislature two years ago passed a law establishing a computer database to monitor prescription drug sales and cut down on the practice of going from clinic to clinic to buy pills.
>> this is the budget you asked for.
>> reporter: but rick scott wants to cut the program which drew harsh criticism from police and other officials.
>> we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. we need tools. like the prescription drug monitoring program, like that database.
>> reporter: during a time of difficult budget cuts, a battle over the cost of saving lives. lake worth , florida .