'It's almost like legalized drug-dealers,' said Lake City mom whose daughter overdosed on opioids

by: Lorena Inclan, Action News Jax Updated:

LAKE CITY, Fla. - Photos, diplomas, a book and a box of ashes is what Lora Strickland has left of her only daughter, Desira Mauldin.

“She was a straight-A student, she was going to be a publisher,” Strickland said.

But those dreams were crushed in August of last year when Strickland walked in her daughter’s room only to find her motionless.

“When I went in there, I could just look at her. Her eyes were rolled back, her fingers were already purple and I was trying to perform CPR,” Strickland said.

Strickland showed us her daughter's death certificate. Under cause of death “oxycodone toxicity” is listed. Mauldin was 34 years old.

“It was a senseless death. It shouldn't have happened,” Strickland said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

Strickland blames the pain clinic that prescribed her the pills for her daughter’s death.

“I feel like it's a money racket, to be honest with you. I feel like there are ways they could monitor people's pain instead of just writing them narcotics,” Strickland said.

Strickland said lawmakers need to do more to stop this crisis.

“My life will never be the same. I would do anything to have my daughter back,” Strickland said.

Strickland said her daughter was prescribed 75 oxycodone pills every two weeks and claims the clinic should’ve done more.

“I feel like they did not monitor Desira like they should have and I feel like they had her on too high a dose of medicine,” Strickland said.

She also said patients aren’t warned enough.

“I don't feel like they give them enough information on what the narcotics can do and how dangerous they are,” said Strickland.

She now wants to see more accountability.

“It's almost like legalized drug dealers, to me,” Strickland said.

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