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Pill factories need closed

The symptoms are as clear as the diagnosis for a cure: “Pill factories” flooding our nation with legal narcotics need to be closed, for good.

The statistics are staggering. Florida — Broward County specifically — has become the Mecca of pain clinics and individuals seeking quick ways to get pharmaceuticals that fetch big money on the streets.

Law enforcement is doing its part to correct this problem. It is time for lawmakers to do theirs.

These clinics must be regulated with clearly defined rules that eliminate this drive-thru mentality for picking up prescription pain medicine.

In the last six months of 2008, doctors in Broward handed out more than 6.5 million oxycodone pills; 45 South Florida doctors dispensed nearly 9 million pills of oxycodone

The number of pain clinics in south Florida had nearly doubled, as has the number of oxycodone-related overdoses.

But don’t think this is a Florida problem. It isn’t.

Lawrence County and the entire Tri-State has been identified as one of primary destinations for many of these pills.

Weak Florida laws that allow in-house pharmacies and selling of these narcotics over-the-counter to out-of-state customers must be changed.

Florida is one of only 12 states without a prescription monitoring system, making it a magnet for the black-market pill trade

It must be changed in Florida. It must be changed in America.

We cannot allow these phony doctors to continue to poison our society with these drugs that aren’t being regulated and likely aren’t even needed.

Individuals truly in need should have access to the medicine they need.

But abusers and profiteers shouldn’t be allowed to create a drug pipeline into the rest of the nation.