Recent news stories, and stories going back several years, discuss pill mills and efforts by law enforcement to crack down on these facilities. What are pill mills though, and do they contribute to prescription drug abuse? These are physicians, clinics, and pharmacy facilities that provide strong prescription medications without a legitimate need for these medications. Patients receive a variety of narcotic prescriptions from these facilities, and many of the patients do not have a medical need for the drugs that are dispensed to them. These are not the same as pain management clinics, which may also prescribe strong narcotic medications but this is done under close medical supervision when there is a legitimate medical need for these drugs.
Pill mills are basically drug dealers with a medical or pharmacy license, pushing strong narcotics that contribute to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is going on all over North America right now. Patients who visit these clinics usually receive no real medical treatment at all. The patient is seen by the medical professional for a few minutes at most, and then prescriptions are provided or refilled for the patient. Pill mills are partially responsible for the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and many states and countries are cracking down on these unethical facilities. There have been cases of clinics and physicians prescribing hundreds or even thousands of powerful pain pills every month, many of which end up on the street being abused. Patients who have a legitimate medical need for pain control can get the required care at a pain management clinic, where oversight is much stricter and patients are routinely screened for signs of prescription drug abuse.