The drug addiction company Oxycontin

In 1995, Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, began manufacturing Oxycontin, an extended-release version of the opioid Oxycodone. It has been marketed as having a low risk of abuse due to its slow release in the body.

The packaging stated that “the delayed absorption provided by OxyContin tablets is believed to reduce the risk of abuse of this medicine“.

These claims have all subsequently been found to be false. Purdue Pharma spread the word about its new product by hosting more than 40 pain management conferences and speaker training from 1996 to 2001, with the goal of recruiting more physicians to prescribe the drug.

A database was established to identify healthcare professionals who prescribed large amounts of opioids and the company increased the number of representatives to these individuals. Promotional items were provided. OxyContin brochures, soft toys and fishing hats.

GREAT media exposure

The marketing didn’t stop there. Television, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, billboards and direct mail have all been used to educate the public.

The techniques have been a tremendous success for the company, with sales increasing from $ 48 million in 1996 to $ 1.1 billion in 2000.

It wasn’t until March 2016 that the CDC released guidelines advising doctors to only prescribe Oxycontin and other opioids as a last resort for pain, and only at the lowest effective dose.

In 2018, Purdue Pharma patented a new type of buprenorphine, designed to help manage cravings for opioids such as Oxycontin.

The Florida Blend

It is not just the drug companies that make a lot of money from the “drug addiction business” where addicts are exploited for profit.

This same mentality also exists in the rehabilitation industry. On paper, the rehabilitation industry serves the interests of people with substance abuse problems. The addicts who go there are weaned from the drugs they were taking and given new skills so that they can return to the world and live respectable and fulfilling lives. And this is absolutely the case for many rehabilitation centers.

Of course, it is naive to think that drug addiction treatments are only available for the benefit of drug addicts. Most of them are businesses owned by individuals looking to make a profit. But most drug rehabs strike a good balance between the clinical needs of clients and the financial needs of owners or shareholders.

This is not the case for some sections of the industry, where unscrupulous brokers work with treatment establishments that promise brokers bribes to send them patients. Patients are found by searching for them at 12-step fellowship meetings, drug courts, and homeless camps.

Brokers will then call their list of rehabilitation centers to find the most competitive deal for the patient’s business.

Once the patient is in the facility, their insurance is billed as much as possible.

The installations do this by playing on the system.

A common approach to maximizing insurance company bills is to have clients run drug tests on a daily basis.

Each drug test done earns drug rehab a few hundred dollars, which quickly adds up when clients spend 30 days in a facility.

The scam is so common that it has a name: the “Florida shuffle,” a title given to it based on the most common locations for drug rehab centers that operate the scam and how customers are. moved in and out of detoxification centers, without receiving any. real care.

Steps have now been taken to toughen the tone against those handling the shuffle and dozens of those who got rich from the racketeering have gone to jail. We haven’t seen the end of the Florida reshuffle, however.

There are still centers across the country that make money from it, but their activities are now carried out underground, making it more difficult for law enforcement to stop them.

Pill mills

It’s not just drug rehabs that make money on the suffering of others in Florida.

The “pill mills,” which until the mid-2010s distributed opioids such as Oxycontin from Purdue Pharma, have also performed very well.

The factories operated the same as the exploitative drug rehab centers and used brokers who would receive around $ 100 for each patient brought in and pay in cash.


These three industries prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, which is perhaps why they were and in some cases are still able to get away with their immoral actions.

The exploited people, in the lower echelons of society and often seen as criminals and deviants, are people for whom no love is lost.

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