Original summary: "OxyContin tablets crus...
“OxyContin” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The D.E.A and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement swooped in last week and shut down one of the local pill mills. Sarasota wasn’t the only city they targeted; several pill mills across the state were also raided. My first thought: FINALLY! There had been rumors swirling around for years that a few hundred dollars and a smile would get you almost any prescription you wanted. The relief only lasted a few seconds before sheer panic set in. What would happen to the addicts who bought their drugs from this pill mill? Would the state/county offer free counseling? Rehab? Without getting help or treatment, addicts would find new doctors to write prescriptions or turn to street drugs.

And that’s exactly what’s happening…

According to the news, heroin is on the rise in Florida. It’s cheap—much cheaper than pills—easy to locate, and its high is intoxicating (as you all should know from reading Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales). In fact, the other night the news showed the top signs/symptoms of heroin abuse: small pupils, laziness, not showing up to work, and a lack of cleanliness. Nothing against the local news and their efforts, but really? That’s all they’ve got? A lack of cleanliness? If you’re going to inform the public of sign/symptoms, at least give the viewers a little more than heroin addicts don’t shower regularly.

Heroin! (Photo credit: michelle.irish)

Addiction is already storming through our houses, affecting our parents, children, friends, and community. It’s a tornado that’s pulling from the roots and leaving death in its wake. And it’s only going to get worse. There are hundreds—maybe even thousands—of pill addicts who are going to switch to heroin or some other drug because we’re shutting down their distributor. We need to do a lot more than just warn the public that junkies have small pupils and don’t show up to work. We need a plan, and we all need some hope.

6 comments on “Pill Mills”

  1. An interesting post and I agree with Jamie, very good questions. As a Canadian police officer I’ve seen first-hand how bad of a substance Oxycontin is (not the only abused prescription medication but by far the worst). It can be addictive after only a single dose and it is one of the hardest addictions to break. The withdrawal symptoms are beyond brutal which leads to many being addicted for life.

    In Canada, with universal health care, etc., we have clinics and rehabilitations centres that are entirely government funded. There is a methadone clinic in town were recovering addicts can get daily doses of methadone to help cope with the withdrawal from oxycontin/heroin. Unfortunately, many just abuse the methadone, some to the point of holding the liquid dose in their mouth, leaving the clinic, spitting it back into the cup and selling it to someone waiting outside.

    Now with the release of OxyNeo, Oxycontin is no longer available in most areas (if not all). OxyNeo is difficult and lethal to abuse. Snorting a crushed pill can cause major issues as the powder turns to a sticky ooze when snorted. Injecting it doesn’t work either. So what’s left? That good old staple of the hard drug culture: heroin (which is why we’re seeing the increase in its use).

    I think that the unfortunate reality is that there will always be drugs and there will always be those who abuse them. But if we don’t have rehab centres and clinics at the ready (and we don’t expect a recovering drug addict to pay for it) there will never be any hope for a systemic societal problem.

    Education and prevention help, but what about the people for whom those programs are too late?

  2. Hi Harrison, thanks for stopping by and commenting. We have the same problem here; many addicts abuse methadone/methadone programs and sell it once it’s distributed to them. I haven’t heard of OxyNeo so I did a quick search and I’m not sure if it’s available in the US. From what I read online, though, it seems like that drug comes with a whole new and different set of problems. You’re exactly correct: if we don’t have rehab centers and clinics ready and available for free, there will never be any hope. 🙂

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