Earlier in the summer, President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency regarding the opioid crisis in the United States. The broad class of drugs known as opioids function by acting on the body’s opioid receptors to reduce the sensation of pain. In small doses as prescribed by a doctor, opioids are effective for pain relief when NSAIDs like ibuprofen are not strong enough. However, the substances are extremely addictive, and users can quickly develop a chemical dependency on them if their use is not strictly monitored.

The US Government has taken a vested interest in prosecuting doctors and pain management clinics that have been termed “pill mills,” meaning that they fail to adhere to the best practices for prescribing opioids. In his smash hit book American Pain, author John Temple documented the dramatic rise and fall of a chain of pill mills in Florida especially and how two friends convinced licensed doctors to use their credentials to purchase and prescribe opioids to patients without subjecting them to physical examinations or studying their medical histories. Today, both the founders of the pain clinic and many of the doctors they employed and exploited have pleaded or been found guilty of federal crimes related to illegal distribution of controlled substances.

This blog was originally posted on Micha Abeles’ other website. To read the rest of the blog, please click here