Broward News

Floridians Do More Dope Than Anybody

Legitimate pain clinics should probably stop grousing over the state's shock and horror over Florida's mortal oxycodone addiction.

Did you read Bob LaMendola's story over at the Sentinel last night? Well, do. It's the one that says "newly obtained federal figures" show that Florida is the pain pill capitol of the USA, gobbling up twice as much dope as our next closest competitor. (What figures and whence they come? LaMendola doesn't say, 'cuz he's a mysterious dude.) Each year, we apparently dispense over half a billion choke-a-horse oxycodones alone. Back before Governor Scott got rid of Bruce Grant, Claude Shipley, and all those guys over at the Office of Drug Control, they'd have been happy to tell you that those pills cost seven Floridians their lives each day. Presumably, they still do. Which is a crisis, you'd think.

Not so fast!

If you've read Bob LaMendola's piece, now take a gander over here, where the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers sounded off a few days ago in a press release, presenting themselves as put-upon and persecuted warriors against agony. Which is horsenuts, frankly, but never mind. What's kind of crazy is the utter pettiness of their approach. In the release, the FSPMP systematically addresses every common claim re: Florida's pain clinic problem and half-debunks it, using some sly math, the willy-nilly mixing together of reports from different years, and a whole lot of obscurantist sound and fury. Their chief gripe? They don't like being compared to McDonald's. Seriously. Take a look.

Despite all of the work of FSPMP, the claims they debunk are precisely the ones that LaMendola goes on to rebunk. Which makes them look silly, at least. And for what? At the end of their release, they go on to endorse exactly the kind of anti-pill-mill approach recommended by the erstwhile Office of Drug Control, which makes the whole exercise seem kind of... pointless. C'mon guys. I don't like being compared to McDonald's, either. But when seven Floridians are dying each day, sometimes you gotta take one for the team.


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Brandon K. Thorp