In the past few years, the state of Florida has seen numerous pill mills move out, as lawmakers have passed stricter laws and law enforcement have cracked down. But these clinics of questionable ethics are still around, as was shown this week in Fort Lauderdale where 10 people including seven doctors were arrested.
According to Reuters, the clinic, operating under the name Pompano Beach Medical, was doling out high-powered prescription drugs like oxycodone to patients with little more than an interview. Agents visited the clinic undercover and found they were subjected only to a stethoscope exam, where the doctor actually listened to the right side of the chest (rather than the left, where the heart is actually located).
In all, ten people were arrested and charged with various prescription drug offenses.
Florida was once recognized as the prescription drug capital of the country, where similar pain clinics abounded, offering prescriptions up to nearly anyone who paid for them. But many of the clinics have since moved on to other states, where restrictions aren’t quite as severe. This particular clinic obviously didn’t get the memo.
The clinics are touted as pain management clinics, specializing in prescription treatments for chronic pain. And while they may very well offer pills to people with chronic pain, little is done to ensure that the people aren’t merely addicted to the drugs that may have been first introduced to them after a bad accident.
“This was simply a moneymaking thing,” said DEA Miami Field Division Chief Mark Trouville. It was more about money than providing quality medical care.
Prescription drug addiction is a serious problem in Florida and across the country. But in true Drug War fashion, lawmakers are most interested in punishing those who fuel the addicts rather than treating the addiction. What they may not realize is that taking away access to these prescription drugs without providing some level of drug treatment to the users may very well steer them towards stronger and cheaper illegal drugs, like heroin.
Most people charged with drug offenses aren’t charged with running multi-million dollar pill mills. Instead, they are charged with low-level distribution or even possession charges. But, whether you are facing a few months in jail or a lifetime in prison, the effects of any drug charge can be life changing.
If you are charged with a drug offense, contact us today to discuss your options. We may be able to assist you in avoiding the worst possible consequences. Call today for a free consultation.