Articles Tagged with Pain Clinic

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Nearly two years ago, a post here discussed the growing problem of unregulated pain-management clinics, so-called “pill mills,” and how South Florida – Broward County in particular – was ground zero.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, overdose deaths from painkillers are rivaling the No. 1 killer, traffic accidents. It attributes much of the increase to the overuse of prescription opiates such as OxyContin and Vicodin. In Florida, deaths from prescription-drug use rose from 2,780 in 2006 to 3,750 in 2008 – more than cocaine, according to the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.

You don’t even have to be a doctor to run a pain-management clinic. “You need a background check to get a liquor license — you can’t be a convicted felon and open up a bar — but you can be a convicted felon and open up a pain clinic,” says Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti.

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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.

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