If you’re one of the people suffering from OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth, you should be angry—be very angry! You should be angry at the individual physicians and pharmacists who have chosen to abuse the oaths they took when they received their licenses to practice, because most pain pills that people buy illicitly on the street are not stolen. They are put on the street by doctors and pharmacists who feel no guilt about earning millions of dollars at the expense of people who get caught in a web of addiction. There may not be many, but unfortunately it only takes a few to have a tremendous impact.
These unscrupulous practitioners typically do not have an established, well run medical practice or run an honest pharmacy like most well-meaning healthcare professionals who value their patients’ lives. They would rather not spend the money it takes for legitimate business overhead and professional liability insurance. Instead, they write prescriptions indiscriminately, often to dealers who “pretend” to be patients who then fill their prescriptions and flood the streets with high-cost pain pills. The central Texas area has had its share of these pill mill operators.
These licensed professionals may also dispense unbelievably large quantities of benzodiazepines like Xanax as well, not caring that benzos and opiates make an unbelievably lethal combination. Taken together, benzos and opiates depress the central nervous system, and a victim can easily die from respiratory arrest—failure to breathe. Unbelievable.
This Goes Far Beyond OxyContin Addiction in Fort Worth
The problem hits us from all corners of the country. In March 2015, Dr. Brian Heim was sentenced to jail for distributing over 30,000 pain pills in Akron, Ohio. In Philadelphia, Dr. Lawrence Wean charged patients $200 to $300 per visit for writing pain pill prescriptions without asking any questions, until he was finally arrested in December 2014.
Dr. Madhu Garg kept an office selling pills to people addicted to opiates in California, and she then worked with four other culprits to distribute the pain pills from those false prescriptions to the Central Texas region, promoting Vicodin and OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth and throughout the area. She wrote more than 10,000 prescriptions, with 80 percent of them for both narcotic pain pills and the generic formulation of Xanax.
Thankfully, Garg and her co-conspirators face federal sentencing of up to 20 years in prison for contributing to the Vicodin and Percocet abuse and OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth and throughout Central Texas, literally poisoning countless people who must then spend countless years and untold dollars trying to kick their addiction.
Some of these prosecuted healthcare professionals do spend time in jail. Consider the case of Dr. Nicolas Padron, who worked with Lisa Hollier, a licensed pharmacist operating a pharmacy in Sunnyvale. Hollier hired people to approach Dallas’s homeless population, who then went to see Padron. He wrote pain pill prescriptions for the fake patients. The patients then filled their prescriptions at Hollier’s pharmacy and turned the pills over to additional conspirators who resold the pills on the street.
Padron, for purposely contributing to Vicodin addiction in Dallas and OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth, was not sentenced for creating misery and endangering the lives of their hapless victims because Hollier was the main focus of charges filed. However, he has been charged with insurance fraud. Just like the feds prosecuted Al Capone for tax evasion, this guy may be going away for a long time, too.
For others, life continues with just a slap on the hand. Dr. Leeroy McCurley earned a cool two million operating clinics in Dallas and Grand Prairie and likewise awaits final disposition of his case. He wrote thousands of prescriptions for pain pills, benzos, and cough syrup. Federal officials finally put a stop to his illegal business, and his Dallas clinic—a storefront in a mall with no business signage—is closed. However, he still practices medicine at his Grand Prairie location.
One young woman recently receiving treatment for OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth said she thought the days of pill mills were long past, and that just isn’t the case. A couple years ago, two brothers plus a third party were running a profitable pill mill in Florida. When Florida laws cracked down on their business, they moved operations just a little north, ultimately sending hundreds of hapless victims to methadone clinics in Georgia.
Last year the judge reduced the ringleader’s sentence by three years when he agreed to testify against the doctors who wrote prescriptions for his pill mill. Christopher George spilled the beans about how he combed state websites for small businesses who had just a single DEA number, and he would then contact them to find out how to qualify for OxyContin shipments. To the customer service reps fielding phone calls, he was just another clinic manager. To him, the people whose lives he ruined were just nothing.
Are You Angry Yet?
Let’s hope you are angry, very angry, about the damage that these criminals bring to the lives of people addicted to Vicodin and OxyContin in Fort Worth and throughout the state. The Centers for Disease Control report that pain pill addiction has grown by more than 300 percent since 1990. Most states have seen a rabid increase in addiction services requested just in the past year.
Over the past five years, the number of emergency room visits by victims of addiction to pain pills like OxyContin in Fort Worth has tripled. For every single person who dies, you can be sure there are 10 people admitted to the hospital because of pain pill abuse, 32 people who have to go to the emergency room, 130 people who have a pain pill abuse problem, and 825 people who use pain pills illegally.
Deaths occur because once you’re addicted to OxyContin, Vicodin, or any other pain pill formulations, you feel sick if you don’t take them. You might believe you are a far cry from a heroin addict, but the horrible symptoms you experience if you don’t take pain pills are the same as someone who is addicted to heroin. It’s easy to give in and overdo it.
The Cost of OxyContin Addiction
You should be angry because the doctors and pharmacists who run these pill mills are dishonest and immoral. They care little for the misery they cause to people addicted to OxyContin in Fort Worth as long as they get the money they need to live their lavish lifestyles. The US Department of Health and Human Services has published a study that demonstrates methadone treatment can cost $2,000 to $15,000 per year. The actual amount depends upon the level of care; costs for methadone clinics treating OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth are less than costs for residential treatment, for example. Incarceration costs even more, however: Taxpayers shell out about $20,000 per person sent to jail, for a total of two billion paid to prisons throughout the country.
The answer is that more of the people addicted to pain pills need to reach out for the help they need. If you are worried about OxyContin addiction in Fort Worth or Tarrant County, call your local methadone clinic and find out how to get started. Don’t be a victim—take the necessary steps that will lead you to wellness.