PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA (May 27, 2011) – Pill mill clinics of Florida provide hundreds of thousands of illegal prescription drugs per year, and law enforcement, from the local and state police to the FBI and DEA, collaborate on full-time task forces to crackdown on the illegal distribution of drugs. Last week, however, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office and State Attorney Michael McAuliffe targeted pill mills from another perspective, education.
On May 27, the second annual Palm Beach County Prescription Drug Abuse and Pain Clinic Summit was held, with law enforcement, health care professionals, advocates and State Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers in attendance. Benacquisto believes the summit allows law enforcement to prevent pill mill activities before they start and lessen the need for the constant chase of the perpetrators.
Pill mills thrive on patients who become addicted to prescription pain killers typically after having a legitimate need for the medication. The most often abused drug, Oxycontin, carries a high probability of addiction, and ethical doctors cut off patients if the doctor suspects abuse or addiction. Patients often then search for pill mills, run by doctors who abuse their prescription writing privileges and their DEA license to prescribe narcotic pain killers. A crooked doctor can make a lot of money simply by writing illegal prescriptions. “They are doing it out of greed,” states Dr. Steve Rosenberg.