Why Are Doctors Dealing Drugs in the United States?
Nearly 50 suspects were arrested on Wednesday, May 20th by agents from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Seven of the suspects arrested in the numerous raids carried out by DEA agents were doctors dealing drugs.
According to spokespersons from the DEA, the raids were part of an investigation that lasted nearly a year and a half. Although doctors dealing drugs were the focus of the investigation, most of those arrested were pharmacists, drugstore employees, couriers, middlemen, medical assistants, and street dealers. It is interesting to note, however, that so-called â€œpill millsâ€ and doctors dealing drugs were at the heart of this extensive DEA operation.
In essence, pill mills are health clinics operated by unscrupulous doctors dealing drugs. The patients who frequent these clinics are often called â€œnarc seekers.â€ Ostentatiously, pill mills masquerade as pain clinics where patients who suffer from painful chronic disorders can get prescriptions for strong painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. In the past, psychiatric practices in Florida have also served as pill mills where narc seekers could obtain prescriptions for Xanax.
In the above-mentioned DEA operation, agents raided two pain clinics in Alabama, which were actually pill mills owned and operated by doctors dealing drugs. Potent painkillers such as oxycodone are often taken on a recreational basis by narc seekers, and a similar use is given to strong tranquilizers such as Xanax, which is a tablet preferred by amphetamine and cocaine users looking for something to take the edge off after heavy intake of stimulants.
Details of the DEA investigation indicate that doctors dealing drugs can realize significant profits from their unethical practices. Fake prescriptions allowed a pharmacist in Arkansas to make $500,000 in 2013 for the sale of 93,000 hydrocone tablets. At some of the pill mills investigated by undercover DEA agents, doctors dealing drugs handed out hundreds of prescriptions each week. According to agents, some of the physicians issued prescriptions without even evaluating patients who complained about back pain; in most cases, they would not even order an x-ray.
Oxycodone and the rest of the medications coveted by narc seekers are controlled substances, which is why they require prescriptions. The most sought-after pills act as synthetic opiates, which produce effects similar to morphine and heroin. In fact, some heroin addicts prefer to visit pill mills since prescription medications do not present the risk of added impurities.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that more than 20,000 Americans died in 2013 from overdoses of prescription medications, and most of the culprit substances were prescribed by pill mills. A senior DEA agent from Louisiana who supervised the operation explained that law enforcement agents and medical officials are concerned that physicians who cater to narc seekers are essentially profiting from misery since opioid painkillers are often very addictive.