Thursday, February 25, 2010
7 News Investigations: Pill Mills - Operation Medicine Cabinet
An exclusive 7 News Investigation shining the light when it comes to pill mills, and tonight Broward County is coming up with a "Prescription For Change," that begins in your very own medicine cabinet. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero, who first exposed this problem, has the story.
WSVN -- Broward County is ground zero for problems with pill mills. Pain clinics that hand out addictive pills by the hundreds to local customers and others who come from all over the country to stock up here.
The Broward Sheriff's Office has been aggressive in trying to police the problem. A database is due to start tracking who is giving out the pills and who is getting them by the end of this year, and another new law did require pain clinics to register with the state. More than 900 so far, but clearly it hasn't hurt business.
Sheriff Al Lamberti: "Last year more people died by prescription drug overdoses than car accidents."
So Sheriff Al Lamberti has taken aim at the problem from another direction. A public education program directed at parents who don't realize children can start the road to addiction with medicines they find at home.
BSO has launched Operation Medicine Cabinet to encourage parents to clean out their old meds.
BSO will give out $5 gift cards and make sure the pills are disposed of properly. It's being financed by a grant from the United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse.
Pat Castillo: "We look forward to many more years ahead working with BSO in our quest to empower our diverse community to live healthy and drug free."
Carmel Cafiero: "When the state legislature meets, bills aimed at further regulating pain clinic will be introduced. but for now, the epidemic continues and parents beware."