Tag Archives: Florida

Fla. goes after dirty doctors, but some say it’s not enough

In Florida, where prescription drug addiction is rife, authorities are trying to crack down on unscrupulous doctors who inappropriately prescribe painkillers after implementing legislation targeting “pill mills” last year. But according to some critics, these efforts come too little, too late. This article in the Orlando Sentinel discusses how one such doctor, Riyaz Jummani, may ultimately face only six months at the Orange County Work Release Center if a judge approves a sweetheart plea deal the Office of Statewide Prosecution will recommend.

Meanwhile, dozens of pill mill suspects have been arrested in the state, including the George brothers, who were recently sentenced to 15 and 17 years in jail for running the largest illegal pain clinic network in the country, raking in $40 million in two years.

In Florida, the death rate from oxycodone increased 265% from 2003 to 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more about Florida’s struggles with prescription drug addiction here.

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OxyContin Activists: Abby Beaulieu

“OxyContin Activists” are regular people who are fighting back against the painkiller and heroin epidemic.

Abby Beaulieu, 26, has a great life: she lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. with her husband and four-year-old son. But just six years ago, she was hopelessly addicted to OxyContin. Now, she’s on a mission to spread the word about the dangers of prescription drug addiction. Through her blog, My Life. My Story., she aims to break down the stigma surrounding painkiller addiction and show that it really can happen to anyone. Oxy Watchdog caught up with Beaulieu to learn more about her story and what she hopes to accomplish with her blog.


Watchdog: Tell us about the path that led you to OxyContin. When and how did you fall into your addiction?

AB: My father is an alcoholic, and at age 11 my parents got a divorce. At age 13, my father was alone dealing with his addiction, and I felt the need to go be with him. I get serious anxiety when I feel somebody is feeling lonely, or is lonely. I thought that if I was with him and he wasn’t alone, he would not drink. That was not the case. At 13, I became the adult, while he was the child, picking up beer cans and liquor bottles, not going to school for fear what I would come home to, helping him detox when his binges were over. At 16, I met a guy who was abusive in every aspect. He was over 21, so I started enabling my father and buying him alcohol because in return he would write me a check for over $300, not knowing he was fueling my addiction as well: I had started smoking pot at 12.

Prior to meeting my boyfriend, he had been a serious car accident and broke both of his feet. His doctors had him on pain pills for a year and a half and cut him off rather than weaning him off, so he was deeply addicted. A couple days after we met, he introduced me to Roxicodone and I snorted my first pill. The next pill I snorted was OxyContin. When I first started using Oxy I was doing two 40-milligram pills a day, which gradually lead to me shooting about three 80-mg pills a day. After not feeling the effects the way I wanted to, I started shooting them up because the high was better. My using was so much deeper than the addiction: it was the everyday pain that numbed me from feeling, numbed me from worrying about my father and the betrayal I put my mother through. My father (with whom I have no communication today) was clueless to the fact that I was using, even though I weighed 85 pounds soaking wet, until the day I called him to give me a ride to rehab. He did not take me.

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