By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Keegan Hamilton and Francisco Alvarado
By Jake Rossen
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Chris Joseph
By Michael E. Miller
Spend ten minutes driving around this area — anywhere from north of Palm Beach to south of Miami — and it might seem like Florida has more pain clinics than orange groves. Most clinics have a licensed medical professional who sees patients, "diagnoses" medical problems, prescribes medication, and fills the prescription — all in the same place. Many of these establishments advertise in various local publications (like this one), offering discounted or free first visits. Though their signage might look like they're some sort of emergency room, most pain clinics are open only a few hours a day. It's safe to say that some of their doctors might not like working long hours away from their big, shiny yachts.
How to shop
If you're in from out of state, it might be difficult to find a clinic that doesn't require Florida identification. This is a recent development, a reaction to pressure from various law enforcement agencies. You can still find a few places that don't require local I.D., but expect to pay — $200 to $300 per visit.
Cash might be the quickest option, but most places accept credit cards. One local pill connoisseur — for her sake, we'll call her Pained Patty — says that if you have a few hundred dollars, an I.D., and you can say you have a vague medical problem, "You can basically ask for the drug you want by name and be in and out in under ten minutes." Patty adds: "It helps if you don't ask for like 20 different drugs all at once and if you don't look like a smuggler. None of these people want to get in trouble."
Be prepared to brush up against the other clientele in the small waiting rooms. These could be some wide-eyed, spaced-out, unwashed, greasy-haired pillheads who quite literally do not know you're in the room even though you've been sharing an armrest for half an hour. Bring hand sanitizer.
What's your pleasure or pain?
For a beginner, this could be the trickiest part. You know what kind of drug you're looking for, but you don't want to ask for it by name — despite Patty's suggestion. You're also not sure exactly how to describe what's wrong with you. Here's some help:
Xanax — You have a lot of anxiety, some tension in your chest.
Valium — You have some anxiety and a sore lower back, though you're not sure why. You're also a little sad.
Vicodin, hydrocodone — You hurt your back moving boxes. It's been very sore for more than a week, and you've had to miss work.
Methadone — It started with a back injury, and now you've been on pills for a while, and it hurts when you stop.
Klonopin — You've got a lot of anxiety and you aren't fond of how you feel on Xanax.
Adderall — You can't focus when you read long magazine stories. Or you're already on an antianxiety med and need some balance.
OxyContin, oxycodone — You fell off a roof. It was two stories. You're in severe pain. You can hardly sleep. You were just barely able to get to the clinic.
Roxycet — You were hit by a car. It's the worst pain you've ever felt, and you feel it all over.
SCORING COKE LIKE A LOCAL
There was a time in South Florida when cocaine simply fell from the sky. Really: Smugglers in airplanes being chased by cops often tried to ditch the evidence by making it snow on the cities below. A kilo once crashed through the roof of a Baptist church during a Sunday service.
Today, most of the old cocaine cowboys are either hustling powder in the celestial kingdom or eating taxpayer-bought meat loaf, so it's a bit harder to procure a taste of Bolivian marching powder. But far from impossible.
What type of fiend are you — the poor soul who braves perilous streets with a few grubby dollar bills clenched in your fist? Or do you just have your marketing intern pick up a vial on the way to the office? Either way, we probably don't want to hang out with you, unless you're that one cokehead out of ten who isn't as annoying as a Lil Wayne album on a daylong loop. With that as a disclaimer, let's break down the different ways South Floridians procure cocaine nowadays:
Over the phone
Who cops this way: hedge-fund traders, touring musicians, exiled foreign dictators.
How the conversation starts: "Diamond Larry, this is your congressman. Listen, about those resolutions of national importance you're working on: Could I make it five instead of three? Yeah, I'm having company."
Pros: You don't have to leave your penthouse, meaning that you can continue to impress those two prostitutes you hired with your immense knowledge of the new Phil Collins album.
Cons: If you call with your cell phone, that's a federal crime. And under the Patriot Act, cops can listen to all of your phone calls. And, look out the window! Do you see those black helicopters, man?!