If you saw this kind of chaos and despair at your orthopedic doctors' office, would you go in?
Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) April 30, 2010
Alternatives In Treatment, a residential substance abuse treatment facility in Boca Raton, Florida, has declared war on owners of local pain clinics and/or physicians who prescribe pain pills without first assessing the client for dependence. Alternatives is an established Florida drug rehab program practicing addiction treatment for over 20 years with an excellent reputation for ethical treatment. In the last 6 months, 5 pain clinics have opened within 3 miles of the treatment program.
"Pain clinics have become an epidemic in south Florida, spurred by lax regulations on how doctors and pharmacies can dispense medicine," says Jack Frydman, executive director of Alternatives. Pain clinic patients don't even need to go to a pharmacy, because they can get their fix directly on-site. These clinics often have someone out in the street with signs trying to lure potential customers. A sign was seen by one of Alternatives' employees on the top of a taxicab advertising 99 cent roxicodone pills. These facilities have "bargain days," which are 2 for 1 specials that give people a $25 credit if they bring in a friend. Clients of the clinics sometime come from out-of-town just to get their fix. They often drive aggressively, do instant u-turns and cut across lines of traffic to get to parking lots. Most of the clinics have armed guards pacing up and down in front of them to control crowds. Frydman states, "we feel that if the average person saw this kind of a scene at their orthopedic doctors' offices, they wouldn't step one foot in the door."
There have been over 800 deaths attributed to these clinics in Palm Beach County in the last 2 years. The majority of buyers are between the ages of 18 and 25 and do not understand that they are going from smoking pot and drinking beer to using synthetic heroin. The overdose rate is just the tip of the iceberg.
Alternatives, in an effort to combat the dragon of addiction and despair, is beginning an aggressive marketing campaign and will distribute literature in all clinics that advises people how to get off of these drugs. Alternatives is also keeping 10% of their beds available for scholarships to those who want help and cannot afford it. The owners of Alternatives recently staged their own demonstration with a giant sign outside their offices, advertising serious treatment for those suffering from pain clinic abuse. Alternatives feels that "drug abuse" is very much a misnomer--the drugs abuse the user. Alternatives hopes to get this message out to their neighbors in their continued efforts to save lives.
Donna Hearn, PhD is the executive clinical director of Alternatives in Treatment, Inc.