Pill mills are the term given to facilities that operate usually as pain clinics that also have pharmacies connected to them. People travel from all around to these clinics to get drugs, and the doctors and administration are well aware that they’re not only profiting from addiction, but fueling it. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and regulators in many states throughout the country have been cracking down on these pill mills.
The southern part of the country seems to have the worst problem with pill mills and the DEA was looking to put a stop to this type of activity with a major operation. All throughout the southern states groups of DEA agents recently raided clinics that were suspected of illegally providing prescriptions for addicts and those seeking narcotic painkillers. Releasing a report to the public; the DEA found that 20 percent of all prescription painkiller addicts received their drugs from a medical professional. The level of narcotic distribution was staggering, and agents compared them to illicit drug dealers on the streets.
Aside from seeking out pill mills and other forms of prescription drug fraud and trafficking, people addicted to painkillers also get them from friends and family members, or simply buy them off the street. Many also wind up turning to heroin as their addiction escalates and they’re looking for a stronger but cheaper opiate.
Unfortunately, providing drugs to addicts is a lucrative business, whether they are legal or illegal. That lure of profit can extend beyond drug cartels and street corner dealers and corrupt otherwise well-meaning citizens like doctors and pharmacists. It is an example of how the demand side of the drug problem must be focused on much more that the supply side, because as long as there are people seeking to abuse drugs, there will be people looking to sell them.