Florida Pain Clinics Fuel Prescription Drug Deaths Nationwide

Once being known as one of the biggest orange producers in the country, Florida has now become one of the largest sources of black market prescription medi…

Florida leads the nation in sales of Oxycondone, a powerful pain killer that has been linked to thousands of deaths across the country and is a major source of drug abuse.

“It’s worse than crack cocaine and heroin have ever been,” said Special Agent Mike Driscoll, who heads the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s West Palm Beach office. “It’s an extremely serious problem, and it needs the attention of numerous agencies.”

Once being known as one of the biggest orange producers in the country, Florida has now become one of the largest sources of black market prescription medication.   In one county along, nearly 100 storefront pain clinics feed a black market in pain pills stretching through Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia and Massachusetts.

The pain clinics have largely avoided careful oversight due to a loophole in Florida law which allows the distribution of these drugs to go without monitoring if the clinics do not accept insurance.

”It’s unacceptable to open up a practice and call yourself a pain management physician and start writing prescriptions,” said Dr. Laura Brown, a physician on the board of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians. “That’s not pain management.”

In Kentucky the majority of illegal prescription drugs can be traced back to these pain clinics. Last year alone, at least 485 people died in that state from prescription drug overdoses, according to the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Kentucky officials are calling this an epidemic.  The victims come from all walks of life.

They are the sons and daughters of prominent businessmen and politicians.  They are poor and wealthy.  They are all the victims of a system which allows suffering and does not provide drug treatment.

Unlike the deadly plagues of the middle ages, there is a known cure for this one – except not enough people are talking about it.