Time Period 10/1/2008 through 3/31/2009 (In Grams)
As you can see, Scioto County recently ranked number 10 in the top 100 oxycodone dispensers in the United States. Where do we go from here? I believe the answer to this question lies buried in the piles of filthy drug money generated by this bloodthirsty business. It's obvious that Scioto County is a mecca for prescription drug abusers - both for those greedily benefiting from the huge profits of sales and for those paying for these poisonous chemicals that essentially take their lives, gut their families, and flood our meager addiction facilities.
Believe me, now that our local Facebook group has reached nearly 2,800 members, each day, I hear new horror stories about crippling drug experiences from our members. If all of us merely realized the tremendous toll these drug dependencies and deaths have taken on our community, we would demand that Rx drug abuse became our first priority. Scioto County is experiencing a HEALTH EPIDEMIC.
So much of the misery in the county is directly tied to prescription drug abuse -- murder, theft, poverty, child abuse, spousal abuse, malnutrition, lost work time, Hepatitis C, traffic accidents, sexually transmitted diseases... the list goes on and on. 90% of all crime in the county is drug related. 85% of substance abuse treatment requests here are for opiate addiction, a threefold increase in just the past three years.
HOW ARE NINE "PAIN CLINICS" OPERATING LAWFULLY IN SCIOTO COUNTY?
1. An independent person with no medical background files for a LLC with the Secretary of State (costs $100). This is often a convicted felon or person with a criminal background, often a convicted drug trafficker.
2. The "Pain Clinic" is set up anywhere they can rent, and, as long as they accept cash only, they will not be subject to building or any sanitary compliance regulations by HHS, WC, or private insurance. They will not be subject to ADA compliance or codes. They do not fall under the Department of Health as they are not listed as a "Medical Facility" under ORC.
3. The Clinic Owner will hire a physician from a "locum tenens" agency. Physicians often end up working for a "temp service" due to past licensing issues or disciplines by a state medical board. The hired physician can be from anywhere, as all he has to do is apply for an Ohio license to practice here. He could even have lost his license in another state for trafficking or substance abuse. The clinic owner will rent a place for the physician, who will stay during business hours and fly home for the weekends or whatever. Sometimes, the clinic owner will rotate several physicians at the clinic to confuse law enforcement, the DEA, or the coroner.
4. The clinic owner and the physician will conspire to run a "cash only" business, advertising as a "Pain Clinic." There is no Ohio law that requires a specialty in pain managment. (But, of course, ANY licensed physician can treat pain, so there is really no need for a special clinic, EXCEPT TO SELL NARCOTICS.
5. The clinic will employ spouses and relatives and typically charge $200 a monthly visit. 75-100 clients a day is a cash net of $15,000 to $20,000 a day. Cash - so they don't have to report truthfully on income taxes.
6. Local pharmacists will usually not honor their prescriptions, so the physician and clinic owner conspire to find a pharmacist that will "work with" them, usually for cash and lots of business. Often, this pharmacy is far away.
7. The clinic will often then apply under the physician's name using the DEA # to the Pharmacy Board to be a "Terminal Distributer of Dangerous Drugs," enabling them to start an in-house pharmacy with the physician acting as the pharmacist (legal in Ohio only if the clinic is owned by the physician). So BADLY (1) The pharmacist is taken out of safeguard loop and ALL profit will go to the physician/clinic owner, (2) The physician/clinic owner will NOT be subject to inspection or discipline by the Board of Pharmacy, and (3) The physician/clinic owner WILL NOT be required to report prescription distribution in OARxRS as a pharmacist would, so they go completely off the radar.
8. Once they open the in-house pharmacy, the "Pain Clinic" profits triple for each client.
9. Once these steps are accomplished, the "Pain Clinic" is only regulated by the State Medical Board, who only has authority over the physician, not the clinic, the setting, or the clinic owner. As long as the physician is working within the Pain Management Guidelines, he is difficult to discipline, sanction or prosecute.
10. . The Policies on the Treatment of Intractable Pain (written in 1997) basically contain language that says that treatment is up to the PHYSICIAN'S OWN DISCRETION, AND TREATING PAIN WITH NARCOTICS (OPIATES) ONLY IN-ITSELF IS NOT A PUNISHABLE OFFENSE.
11. OARxRS in Ohio is voluntary, not mandatory. It is a tool but CANNOT IN ITSELF BE USED AS EVIDENCE IN COURT, HARD COPIES WILL BE REQUIRED.
YOU MUST TAKE ACTION NOW
At this point, the residents of Scioto County must face a crucial decision. Are we going to wait and wait until we essentially dwindle into an area of holocaust, or are we going to actively change the laws, add new enforcement, prosecute the criminals, and provide new treatment facilities? Folks, the status quo is NOT GETTING IT DONE.
Excuses flow like water from all our mouths, but no excuse permits a bystander to watch a neighbor die or watch a criminal make millions. The drain is too much and the cause is too great for a few to react while the rest watch. In order to have far-reaching effects, total cooperation is essential. We must work together, young and old, to stop this insanity. So much pain is being inflicted that Scioto County has become infamous nationwide for its Rx drug abuse.
Who would want pill mills to stain their native soil? Every day is a day that more people die and become lifelong addicts. Talk to the parents, spouses, friends of those who know -- prescription abuse will likely destroy most it touches. This addiction services no one but the undertaker. Demand it stop today, or are we content to say, "It won't affect my family" or "One person can't help do anything to stop it."