Until very recently, Florida was the nation’s connection for the purest, pharmaceutical-grade opiates ever cooked up in the 5,000-year history of dope.
Between 2008 and 2011, hundreds of pill mills in places like Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach distributed millions upon millions of doses of oxycodone, and many of those FDA-approved narcotics flowed northward to states like ours. This supply tipped the country into an overdose epidemic far worse than the crack scourge of the 1980s or the heroin problem of the 1970s. Florida has cracked down on the pill mills, but the nation’s prescription drug crisis is still raging.
I’m an associate professor at the journalism school at WVU. I’m writing a new book — here are my other books — about the Florida pill mill years and the impact on the rest of the country, particularly our region.
So I do lots of research on the subject of prescription drug abuse – the law, the science, the news, the trends – and this blog will present bits and pieces of it.
Also, I’m in Florida right now to observe the federal trial of two doctors who worked for perhaps the nation’s largest pill mill organization, and I’ll be writing some stories about it for the Daily Mail. They’re facing charges related to the overdose deaths of nine patients, including one from West Virginia.
Opening arguments begin Friday…