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Pill Mills: The New Drug Dealers on the Block

By HERWriter Guide
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Addictions  related image Photo: Getty Images

Several documentaries and news stories have come to light recently about the explosion of "pain management centers that supply patients with pain relief medications". Law enforcement would interpret this quote as drug and pill mills that dole out copious amounts of prescription drugs, done for dubiously legitimate doctors who cater to drug addicts.

Many states, particularly Florida and Ohio, have seen a huge surge in these clinics which are often in low rent neighborhoods with no signs on the building or that simply read Pain Management Clinic. These cater to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people who are addicted to such pain killers as Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, Soma (a muscle relaxant) and more. They even offer coupons. Some take the pills themselves, others sell them for profit to addicts elsewhere. It’s a cash-only business that often requires nothing more than ID, a copy of a personal medical record (all a person has to do is to mention being in pain to his or her doctor to have it recorded on the records, thus giving a pill mill doctor permission to prescribe a powerful narcotic to anyone who walks in the door with this on his or her record) and cold hard cash. Often times the medical records aren’t even needed, according to anonymous sources, who worked in the industry. It’s a doctor-patient relationship that law enforcement (and the medical community) call a real life dealer-drug addict affiliation.

The doctors and nurses in these so-called pill mills are qualified but have taken the route of pain clinics rather than regular practices. What goes on behind closed doors, however, violates many states laws. Physical exams are not done (and these are mandatory) and the cash-only, no receipt policies are against health care policies. The patient is often allowed to choose his or her own pain killer. When offered a choice of medication, the patient picks out his or her drug of choice. Undercover investigations, shown on numerous documentaries, show receptionists instructing buyers to come back with cash and ID (which may or may not be legitimate) and are told they will be seen and given the drugs immediately.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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