Positive News on the Opiate Crackdown in Ohio

In an article forwarded to us (6 men charged in Ohio Pill Mill Ring) , we see that Ohio is doing their part to crackdown on the OxyContin epidemic.  Authorities in Ohio are prosecuting six people involved in a pill mill in Waverly.  This is encouraging because you can read how unsavory the behaviors of the pill mill operators were: The indictment alleges that the clinic was owned and operated by Nancy and Lester Sadler and Lisa Clevenger. The clinic operated as a “pill mill” by selling prescriptions for controlled substances (usually oxycodone), without a legitimate medical need for the prescriptions. Many of the prescriptions were openly sold and diverted. Blank prescriptions forms were sold so the buyer could use or resell the prescriptions. Additionally, the defendants allegedly created fake medical records and prescriptions for individuals who were not actual customers of the clinic in order to divert additional prescriptions. The defendants also allegedly used Banks’ DEA registration number and fake names to order large quantities of controlled substances,…

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“Gateway to Heroin” Documents the Link between OxyContin and Heroin

In 2009, Current TV correspondent Mariana von Zeller traveled to South Florida to report on the prescription drug pipeline that stretches from the beaches of Miami to the hills of Appalachia.  Her documentary, "The OxyContin Express," won a Peabody Award for its depiction of the impact of Florida's prescription drug epidemic on addicts, law enforcement officials and prisoners.  Now von Zeller has produced a new documentary called "Gateway to Heroin" that exposes how prescription opiate addicts are turning to heroin for a cheaper high. For "Gateway to Heroin," von Zeller focused on the situation in Massachusetts, where prescription pills have become the most popular street drugs.  Many drug dealers travel to Florida (referred to by von Zeller as the "Colombia of prescription drugs") to obtain prescription drugs illegally, bringing them back to Massachusetts to sell on the street.  In an article on the CNN website, von Zeller states that more people are abusing prescription drugs than heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy combined. The most abused prescription drugs are painkillers that…

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Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions

  Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions Prescription drug abuse has created a growing black market demand for pain killers like OxyContin as well as for drugs used to treat depression and anxiety.  Using data from federal law enforcement agencies, CNN recently published a comparison of street versus legal prescription drug prices: OxyContin: up to $80 on the street compared to $6 with a prescription. Hydrocodone and/or Vicodin: up to $25 compared to $1.50. Percocet: up to $15 compared to $6. The high price of black market OxyContin and other illegal prescription drugs is driven by a growing demand.  Even after the release of OxyContin's new formulation the drug is the primary target of opiate addicted abusers. The DEA reports that 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2009, up 13% from 2008.  The agency expects there to be another double-digit percentage change in users in 2010.  Abuse of prescription drugs has spread throughout the nation, with major cities like New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles being especially hard…

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Florida’s Oxy Express

Florida has become ground zero for the prescription drug epidemic in America.  In communities like Fort Lauderdale, once a popular tourist destination and yachting center, drug dealers have set up shop in strip mall “pain clinics.”  Instead of selling crack or heroin, these dealers are pushing powerful prescription drugs like oxycodone, a narcotic painkiller that is marketed under the names OxyContin, Roxicodone and Oxyfast.  The pain clinics, referred to as "pill mills" by law enforcement officials, make it easy for addicts to obtain powerful prescription narcotics. National Public Radio recently reported that doctors in Florida write 10 times as many prescriptions for oxycodone as all the other U.S. states combined. Florida pain clinics operated by disreputable physicians attract people from all along the eastern seaboard.  A typical visit to one of these clinics consists of a quick exam and a prescription for a painkiller like OxyContin.  Many clinics are also equipped to fill prescriptions.  Drug addicts and dealers who sell oxycodone on the street are able to walk out…

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