FLORIDA DRUG PROBLEM!

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spinal soldier
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   Posted 3/14/2011 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I did not realize how bad Florida was as far as "pill mills". i spoke to a friend in Miami on the phone and he told me it is the pain pill abuse capital of the country. does anyone know the reasons behind this?

straydog
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   Posted 3/14/2011 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Shaw 31 and Petes Trip have posted info about this quite some time ago. Both of them live in Florida. Also it has been all over the tv. Shaw was taking Methadone for a pain reliever and doing great with it controlling her pain. A few months back she went in for her usual appt with her PM dr and he told her Methadone was outlawed and he could no longer write her script for it and she was forced to change her pain meds. From what these two members have posted, it has really become a problem.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Jim1969
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   Posted 3/14/2011 2:29 PM (GMT -6)   
The reason Florida was given this dubious "honor" is/was because of all of the "pain clinics" operating in the state. For a few hundred dollars a person could go into one of these "clinics", sometimes with a CT scan/MRI or even just an X-ray if anything at all and get a prescription for narcotic pain relievers. Some of these "doctors" at these clinics were writing scripts for over 200-400 pain pills (or more), such as Oxycontin, Percocet, Morphine, etc per month. These clinics also often had their own on sight pharmacies which dispensed the drugs. Another common theme to these clinics is they operated on a cash basis only. They did not and would not accept any kind of insurance.

Well many of those who went to these kind of clinics would sell all or part of their filled scripts. If they sold only part of them, which was to have money for next months visit, they would often end up using these medications to get high and not what they were intended for.

Finally there was not any kind of check in place to keep someone from visiting several of these clinics every month.

If you want to know more I suggest doing a Google search on Florida Pain Mills.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.

nvrthesame98
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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 3/14/2011 10:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I too live in Florida and am a transplant from Ky where alot of the drugs coming out of here were being diverted to. Florida has recently implemented some new guidelines for those obtaining narcotics here. Some are working and some of them are not,those getting meds here are good and have found ways around the new rules,alot with the help of the clinics they are going to. I know folks who have had the clinic offer them a blank FL lease making it possible to obtain a FL ID which happens to be one the newly implemented rules for filling schedule meds, The clinics that fill in house at outrageous prices got around that anyway. The DMV and ID department has also made it more difficult to obtain a state ID or transfer your DL.

When I moved here It took me alot longer to get an DL then it did to find a PM but you have to watch the one you choose since alot of them are fly by night and move every few months to keep off the radar of the DEA,some of the clinics here have even gone so far as to open clinics in small out of the way towns in KY, I know of 4 of such places and they started out not needing a referral nor an MRI just have opiates in your 1st visit urine and request one for this or that and out the door you went!!! Really anger involking since so so many CPers have virtually no treatment at all.

These folks would have someone pay that cash up front $200 to $300 and give them half of whatever they got. Now here I have to say as in FL most of the scripts being written were for the Roxy 30's an 15's and they figured out that injecting them got them a whole lot higher and know we have a new generation of IV drug users,these are young folks,20's or so and when FL made it harder to obtain and those meds just like in the OXY thing back in early 2000 Ky was left with alot of addicts and saw a huge increase in robberies and thefts. Now the methadone and suboxone clinics are jammed full of them.

You still see some ads and run across a few of the clinics but not so much as a year ago. I know if I call them up and they are in some out of the way hidden like place and they dont accept any kind of payment other then cash all up front and I mean not even your visa then it is probably on the shady side, A sure give away is the big dudes packing big guns driving big black hummers and patrolling the parking lots.

I got lucky in finding a nice clinic thats been around for years and even though I jump thru hoops in contracts and lab tests I have adequate pain relief and care and my medicare is accepted gladly.

A note about those good old FL docs that opened those clinics in Ky with no rules? They got hit by the DEA and even though they are still operating they have to follow the rules as any other PM clinic or Doc there,meaning referrals from GPs,MRI's must recent and contracts in chart as well as random call ins for pill counts and if those guys are willing to pay that kind of money and jump thru those kinds of hoops I figure just maybe they are more CPers then addicts being seen there now.

shaw31
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/14/2011 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I cannot believe this .. I just wrote a reply to this.  A long reply and accidentaly hit a button and it vanished.  I am so so upset.  I cannot believe it.  I will try again.  I am mad.  I was on methadone and oxycodone before and it helped my pain very very much.  They worked great together.  Now because of these pill mills and legislators my doc will no longer prescribe methadone or oxycodone.  Most of the folks who went to these pill mills were addicts or dealers.  The people who own the clinics are usually business men and the docs are old retired or foreign.  I go to a legit office where the docs specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatry) and accept insurance and not just cash as payment.  I am now getting 3 weeks of injections that hurt like hell and I go to take my lortab 10 and it just scratches the surface of the pain.  I know the oxycodone I used to be on would have done alot better but cannot be prescribed it anymore because of present topic.  It would also help alot more for b/t pain I had at work.  Now I have to take something that does not work near as well. I believe pm docs are now scared to properly treat their pateints because of people who have abused the system.  News flash,  I am not an addict.  I do not abuse my medication.  I take this medication because it helps me live as close to a normal life as I can under the circumstances.  My quality of life was better.  I could play with me son.  I say "was" because  now I take a long acting morphine and the lortab which neither work near the way the others did.  I was forced to stop taking something that helped me not because of something I had done but because of what others had done and I am very upset about it.  I take my medication because it helps with a certain medical condition I have just like someone with hbp would take lisinopril (bp med) or someone with acid reflux takes pepcid ac or a person with high cholesterol takes lipitor.  I think you all get my point.  I am tired of being treated as if I have done something wrong when I have not.  I am so so so tired of it and at my wits end.  My pain stays just under control now but the side effects are worse.  I just want to take the meds that work for me and not what florida legilators think I need.  Doctors are being bullied by legislators and the dea.  Pretty soon the field of PM will be no longer because they (the docs) will all be to scared.  I am now being undertreated because of a few bad people.  Sorry to rant but I had to.  I am due for my second facet injection tomorrow so I better get ready for the pain.  I love you all!

shaw31
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/14/2011 11:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to say one thing.  If you go to a clinic that actually offers medication as an advertisement on a billboard and says they only accept cash then that my friend is not a legitimate pain management office.  If you all cannot figure that out then I dont know what to say to you.

nvrthesame98
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 3/15/2011 6:15 AM (GMT -6)   
OMG Shaw that is horrible to have had that happen. I went thru pretty much the same thing back in 99 and 2000 with oxy-c and is exactly how I got on methadone. Now I know alot of folks out there medical as well as CPers do not like methadone as a long term option for PM but it works for me without alot of b/ts needed and allows me to LIVE life and that is all any of us want. I dont get high, I dont nod out,I dont EVER take more then I am suppose to and take nothing I am not prescribed, I jump thru their hoops,sign their contracts,offer urine each and everytime I go to the clinic, I would NOT sell a pill for NO amount of money as that one day of pain without for me cant have a monetary value placed on it and you all know what I am saying.

I am on a low dose of methadone by choice as we as Docs orders and the sheer number of pills these guys are prescribed coming from these places were mind boggling. Im talking far higher doses of methadone then the clinics give heroin addicts? Hundreds here on top of the roxy 30's and not just zanax but zanax bars at 3 a day this is no lie I know of two personally who got caught with this kind of numbers.

I think I read that you actually live in FL? I am kind of confused about your post as I dont understand why you were taken off the methadone altogether and maybe I am not reading right or am not sure that you live in FL still? As I am on methadone and here in FL and even though my Doc was hesitant about giving me methadone when I first came to him it was pending a EKG since I had not had one in years and methadone effects your heart rate and such after years of use.

I know my Docs office was a little off the mark post procedure yesterday but they seem to be a really nice place and they take my medicare and follow the rules the DEA has decided they have to as far as contracts and drug testing etc.

If you wish we can talk more about this as I sure know how it feels to have something work and then someone decides for you that you cant have it. this is one of my pet peeves,being forced into inadequate care because the addicts and dealers control what meds we the real CPers can have and even how much?

My poor Doc in KY fought the system for many years,getting suspended lic. fines for prescribing,trumpt up charges of not properly charting for PM,you name it and it finally took its toll and he was forced into retirement due to medical issues from the pressures of it all for so so long and left behind many CPers without recourse last year.

Anyway please let me know if there is anyway to maybe help you here as I said if you actually do live in FL I have a Doc here and I am being prescribed the very meds they took from you.

Good luck

Pete trips again!
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1899
   Posted 3/15/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
I too live in Good Old Fla. and still take methadone & oxicodone. I was really lucky and found a great pain doc after going through 4 others in a year and a half! There are so many bad ones here in Fla!!!
I believe that Shaw's doc took him/her off these meds because he/she was scared to prescribe them not because it's against the law here!!!
My new Doc is such a caring person, he wrote a letter and filled out reports for my pending social security case which stated that there is NO WAY that I can work anymore!! Also he offered to up my doses of both meds because he could tell that my pain was real and I have legit cronic pain!!
I declined the offer for higher doses now but told him I would let him know when the time comes> (I don't want to max out my meds now cause what will I do if something really bad happens to me???) I realized this after my last cervical fusion surgery when none of the opiates ( tried a bunch!) they gave me worked much at all because I take methadone and one can't just jump up the dose to quickly with methadone or it will be Good night Sweet Prince> if you catch my drift!!! So I suffered badly for about a week of legit #10's evan w/ everything they tried on me!!!
Sorry for changing the subject! So I guess the only way for us (C.P.'ers) can get any help is to find a good Dr. and that goes fo anywhere not just in Fla.
That's all Folks> See Y'all on da flip side!!!
Love all Y'all!
Pete
When I was young & stupid I broke almost every bone in my body and I'm paying a heavy price now but I'm still here and so glad to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men, both are in the Navy. I'm so proud! My biggest health problem>> I'm a certified Luny~Tune!!

shaw31
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 3/15/2011 8:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks nvrthesame98 and Pete trips!  What you have said is nice to hear as we are all fellow Floridians.  I will clear something up.  My doc never said it was illegal to prescribe these meds in FL.  He told me that with methadone there is a new law in FL which says that a doc prescribing methadone to a patient that dies can be given capital punishment.  I Have looked it up and its true.  With the oxycodone I think my doc is just letting others dictate how he prescribes.  He is scared if the dea sees he has oxycodone scripts he will be red flagged and I think it is just silly.  Its not just me its the whole office.  I did not just want to up and quit right when he told me as that is kind of a cop out.  I thought I would try other things to see how they worked for me.  I have found not one medication that works as good with as little side effects as the two I was on before I was forced to change.  I really think I may look for another PM doc.  Its kinda tricky though as you all know.  If I wanted to change cardiologist because my current one would not prescribe lipitor then I am sure I could go to another doc and ask for it by name and there would not be a problem.  NOt so for PM patients.  YOU would look like a drug seeker.  How  do you all think I should go about looking for a new doc who is not caught up in all this mess and who does not undertreat the patient?  I will ask where nvrthesam98 and Peter are?  I know you cannot answer me on here but I could give you my email and we could discuss this if you have time.  If I happen to live in your area maybe I could see someone in the office you are going to.  I dont know. Please let me know and again may your days be free of pain (as much as possible).

spinal soldier
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Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 687
   Posted 3/15/2011 12:54 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW, i'm so sorry all of you have to withstand this kind of ABOMINATION! reading your post made me angry and i am 3 states away in Virginia. people here thought we had it bad and around 2002-2005 we did (not FL bad). those were the years when the DEA thought any doctor that perscribed opioid pain meds. was a kingpen drug distributer. like NVRtheSAME98 mentioned my beloved orthopedic-surgeon that did my first laminectomy and managed my pain before and after was investigated by the DEA and bullied. they trashed his office and took all his charts and MRI/X-Ray films. the State Board of Medicine took attention and scheduled a trial for his license (40 years exp. starting as a trauma ortho. in the Vietnam War). the trial had about 250 of his patients show up to witness and these broken down pain patients stayed for the entire thing. he passed the Boards investigation with flying colors and kept his license, it did not matter because then the DEA froze his bank account and arrested and convicted a innocent man. he recently passed away in jail. this state has improved greatly in ligitiment pain mang. doctors and laws. SHAW31, i kind of cannot blame your MD for being scared of jail but i am going to come back and write you a post about your meds.(i did the same thing as you after typing the post about your meds. and it vanished). I pray the state of Fla. changes for the better not because i really care about the drug-addicts/criminals but because people that need a high standard of care are not getting it.

Draka
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 256
   Posted 3/15/2011 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I too am from south FL

Getting my meds every month is a constant struggle.... same thing every month... it really criminal how I get treated.

I read this story in the newspaper and thought I would share:
www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/11-arrested-in-palm-beach-county-as-part-1275049.html

These type of clinics really shouldn't be in operation.... but it still makes it harder for the people who really need the meds.

(changed backslash to forward slash to make your link hot ~ Chutz)

Post Edited By Moderator (Chutz) : 3/16/2011 12:39:18 AM (GMT-6)


nvrthesame98
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 3/16/2011 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   
it is a horrible thing! We struggle so long and so hard just to be able to Live Life,take care of ourselves,fight w/c,SSD, take hateful glares and second rate treatment from some Pharmacists who think we are all addicts,and that is only to mention of a few of the difficulties we must surpass to obtain any kind of decent treatment!


Yet these virtual kids and the majority of them are under 25 can get tons of meds with enough money and very little hassle. Its so darn anger envolking you know?



Alot of us fought the fight with my Doc from Ky but he wasnt in the best of health and he had gotten up in years and they too tore up his offices,took patient charts and where does Hippa come in with these folks I ask as far as our confidentiality?



After losing his shirt and everything he had worked for all his 40 years of taking care of those who couldnt go elsewhere or nobody else would he got down bad sick and just couldnt get back at his age. The Attys bankrupted him along with the fines he got. He took medicare and medicaid pts so he didnt make lots to begin with you know? Didnt seem to be an issue for him and his wife who was also his Nurse thru the years.



So the system got another good Doc!



This Doc I see here seems to be really concerned for all of me. After finding out I had been on methadone for 9 years he immediately sent me for an EKG since methadone is believed to cause some heart problems with long term use. He also sent me for a MRI but made sure my medicare would cover it so close to the knee one I had done this year,most wouldnt have cared,pay it or dont come back till you get it is alot of the attitudes.



He offered me other meds we discussed the benefits of methadone versus oxy,morphine,opana,and he said at anytime I wanted to try a different path or at anytime the methadone was not holding my pain levels we could add something or take something away from the equation and pretty left it in my court and with his help and guidance we would do it my way! I was a little leery since alot of them are my way or the highway. He gave me papers with a list of Pharmacies that were going to not keep the methadone on hand due to recent rash in robberies and those that were on the shadier side of the street so I could avoid their costs.



I also might add that I did in fact have a difficult time with an out of state ID and a few even requested a copy of my MRI which I flat refused to give them as I dont think they are under the same laws to protect my privacy and am not sure they would even if they were! I dont think this is something they need to fill a med that a Doctor deemed I needed,what happened to phams and Drs working in conjunction with each other?



Anyway making a already long story longer I wont go into all that but luckily I use Walgreens at home so Walgreens here filled them since they could see that it is what I was getting at home for 9 years as well as the last script filled in KY before the one 34 days later here.



I certainly hope that Pete or I can help Shaw find a Doc to better treat his issues as there is nothing more distressing then getting a med that works and being jerked off because some Govt official says it is a dangerous drug and ppl are dying from it. If they looked at the ones who do I think they would find these folks were destined to do so it just happened to methadone they did it with it. They also need to take a close look at how many CPers die each year from suicide and complications of being under treated for chronic pain!!!! IMO folks.

Post Edited (nvrthesame98) : 3/16/2011 5:15:55 AM (GMT-6)


Chutz
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 3/16/2011 12:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Just my 2 cents from the NW USA...it's such a shame that not only people in Florida are being treated this way but what happens there and in other 'hot spots' affects those who live hundreds of miles away. We're headed for some new laws that will make the laws in Florida the same as those in Idaho, Alaska or Oklahoma. Why should they pay for what centers of pill mills do? It's not the fault of the general population in Florida but I'm guessing that law enforcement (local and federal) is overwhelmed already and can't keep up with the number of clinics and the illegitimate and criminal doctors who bring shame to their own industry. Good doctors don't want them around either. These are not 'doctors' in any sense of the word. They are self-centered and heartless money-mongers. I don't usually go off this hot but this is a topic that sets a fire under me. I hate that a few selfish people can ruin the lives of thousands, if not millions who truly are suffering in pain.

It's a tragedy that has no quick remedies, IMHO.

Chutz
Moderator on the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain forums
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
~~~~~
Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.
Mark Twain

nvrthesame98
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6706
   Posted 3/16/2011 1:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Your so right Chutz,it causes a ripple effect all the way across the US and I m not sure Canada isnt effected as well.
My Doc certainly has some negative things to say about them,and am pretty sure it hurts the good Docs as well.
 
Florida seems to be trying to slow it and end it and they are implementing new laws and regs everyday but these guys are making so much money they can afford to have several offices in different areas of the state as well as move every few weeks if they wish and many of them do.
 
Here is an example for you. I talked to a couple of guys who were down for the super bowl and they were also seeing a pain clinic in Tampa,now this is what they had to do,check into a prearranged motel,call a cell number letting the clinic know they were in and wait till they got a call back from the clinic telling them where to go to and when. Their call to see the Doc came at 2:45 a.m and they were directed to a office building down in a not so nice part of town and when they got there the line was out the door and they got back to the motel at 5:30 a.m with everything they asked for as long as they had the money (350) too see Doc and over &800 to fill those meds at an inhouse pharm. They said they could fill it anywhere they wanted to but were warned that if they had a out of state ID it was not going to happen plus they had to pay $450 to see Doc if they chose to fill elsewhere. Im wondering right off how anyone can afford that? So me being of enquiring minds ask and this is what I was told." They have a sponsor who pays it all and gets half of whatever they get" OMG I about fell over,how do you get that much meds? Well heres the thing those little oxy 30s and 15s have a street value of $15 and $30 and those xanax bars they got had a street value of $7. Heart attack waiting to happen I was stunned beyond belief.
 
I asked if they didnt mind me doing so just how much meds they got and since they had been celebrating the super bowl they were talking away and seemed rather proud of their loot. They got 240 of roxy 30s with a street value of $7200 and 90 of the roxy 15s with a street value of $1350 and add in those 60 xanax bars with a value of $420 and that was an easy read. It cost this sponsor $1150 plus the gas and food here and back and half of the take and he walked away with more then $3000 in drugs and profit and the folks being seen got away with alot more then that since the sponsor paid the visit and the trip costs.
 
Is it any wonder whats happening here is happening here? Its hard times for all and that kind of money looks good to alot of folks and then those "Docs" Are seeing about 100 ppl a day at $350-$450 a piece plus the overhead on the meds from their inhouse pharms and OMG! Where does it end?
Here we sit begging jumping thru all kinds of hoops,losing so much of our lives and like I said before I wouldnt sell you a pill for NO AMOUNT of MONEY as I know what it would feel like that day I didnt have one.
 
I dont know what the answer is how to stop this but I know one thing for sure the methadone and subox clinics are going to be overflowing when it does,and heres another little tid bit these folks hooked on these roxys dont just take them or snort them they shoot them into their veins,or at least this is the trend in KY and why this was started with way too many deaths under its belt. They are literally killing themselves, I can give you some names of the deceased, my kids whom are all in their 20s know them,went to school with them or by association. So so very sad.
 
Sorry for the run on but I thought this might interest some you to know what I learned and I am sure your as stunned at the sheer numbers as I am.
 
In the meantime I guess we keep fighting the good fight for another day of pain relief,another day of as close to normalcy as some of us are going to get and trying to cut thru the red tape and destruction these folks are leaving in their wake for us the real victims of this war.

momtofourangels
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Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 3/16/2011 2:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Chutz. I live in the NE USA and I can't see why everyone else has to suffer because of what those idiots are doing in FL. I just had an appointment yesterday with my pcp and I'm still here suffering. It's crazy. I know the drs. are scared of the DEA doing them in because they prescribe the stupid meds, but those of us with chronic pain really need them. I read that chronic pain affects your body and your mind if it's not properly treated. It's really scary what it has been doing to mine and everyone else that are not being treated properly. Being undertreated. I get hot with this subject too. It makes me sick. In fact I've had my pain to be worse lately than it's ever been. I've vomited twice the last couple of weeks, it was so bad. Anyway. I sure hope that Shaw can get some help from Pete and nvr to get properly treated, and all the rest of us that are not being treated properly. Ok. i'll stop now. Everyone take care.

love and hugs
Loretta
Dx: osteoarthritis, bursitis in left hip, Osteoarthrits in right hip, compression fracture in thoracic spine due to falling on frozen ground March 2001 , ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, osteoarthritis in spine, osteoarthritis in both knees
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