It’s well-known that Florida, out of all of the states, has a drug problem. However, the Palm Beach Post has concluded an investigation showing that Florida has had a major role in starting the nation’s most recent heroin crisis back in 2011.
The roots of the crisis are actually tied to the Florida opioid addiction problem that “pill mills” made worse. People who got addicted to opioids like OxyCodone would generally get access to them through the pill mills in Florida. Once Florida started cracking down around 2011, access to these illegally prescribed drugs grew thin, so many users ended up using heroin, which was more stably supplied and had many dealers. So, despite what common sense might indicate, opioids from Florida ended up fueling the nation’s heroin problem.
A Palm Beach Post investigation has uncovered Florida’s role in igniting the country’s heroin epidemic in 2011.
The state’s repeated failure to control its own prescription drug problem would eventually lead to more addicts turning to heroin not only on Florida, but in other states around the country.
WLRN’s Christine DiMattei fills in for Tom Hudson as host of The Florida Roundup. She sat down with Pat Beall, investigative reporter at The Palm Beach Post, to explore the so-called “Oxy Express.”
WLRN: To connect the dots, you and your team traveled to what’s become known as the “Oxy Express.” What is that and where is it exactly?
PAT BEALL: The Oxy Express was the nickname given to a stretch of roadways from South Florida – specifically Palm Beach and Broward Counties – all through the Appalachians. It was an area where people would drive down, van loads of people, load up on drugs here in Palm Beach County through our pill mills and then drive back to the Appalachians and sell or use the same drugs. Click Here to Continue Reading