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South Florida, a Top Destination for Prescription Drug Tourism?

They’re not coming for the beaches any more, they’re coming for the Pain Management Clinics. Within the past few years it seems like these clinics have been popping up everywhere, and they’re clearly making money. If you can’t tell from the lines wrapped around the back of the clinic on a Monday morning or the ads that appear on page after page in the New Times, this is a profitable business. The worst of these drugs is Oxycodone (aka. oxy’s, oxycontin); according to DEA statistics Broward County is the number Oxycodone distribution site in the Country, dispensing 3.3 million pills in the first 6 months of this year.

Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Lisa McElhaney states that BSO has been “talking to hundreds of thousands of individuals trafficking into the State of Florida specifically to obtain pharmaceutical drugs.”

So why do all these people travel here to South Florida? Authorities say it’s because we make it easy for them to get pills. Additionally, they say it’s perfectly legal and the State Legislature is doing nothing to regulate this epidemic. Recently channel 7’s Carmel Cafiero investigated this growing trend with a story that appeared in her segment Carmel on the Case.

One of the worst part of these drug offenses is that if a person is found in possession of more than 4 grams of Oxycontin, they will be looking right down the barrel of a 3 year minimum mandatory Florida prison sentence. These minimum mandatory prison sentences only go up from there, if someone if found simply possessing more than 14 grams of the substance then the min/man is 15 years, day for day, Florida State Prison.

The bottom line of all of this madness is that while our citizens are being shipped off to prison, pain clinics are opening up in new neighborhoods.

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