Easier Than You Think: The OxyContin Express

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Dr. Phil introduces Current TV correspondent Mariana Van Zeller and asks her, "What made you decide to do this documentary?"

[AD]"Prescription drugs are becoming more and a more of a problem here in the U.S.," she says. "You only hear about it when you have celebrities like Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger dying from prescription drugs, but during that time " the death of Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger " 6,000 people died in the state of Florida alone from overdose."

"If we were having this kind of death from swine flu or something else, they'd be having a special session of Congress, the CDC would be on it. There would just be a pubic outcry," Dr. Phil says.

"Nobody's really paying attention to it," Mariana says.

While filming the documentary, Mariana brought a hidden camera inside a pain clinic to see how easy it is to get a prescription. When she steps up to the counter, the person working says they need to see her MRI, and the doctor will assess her. The clinic charges $200 for the first visit, $140 for follow-ups and $290 for an MRI, cash only, and they will prescribe Percocet, oxycodone or oxydose.

When the video ends, Dr. Phil holds up a local Florida newspaper with 14 pages of ads for pain clinics. "Were they saying that you had to have an MRI?" he asks Mariana.

"Yes," she says, "but as many of the addicts will tell you, that's just something that they tell you so that they can feel like they have some sort of cover. The MRI doesn't actually need to say anything. Some of these doctors are seeing up to 65 patients a day. They take two or three minutes to see the patient, and they don't ask you how you're doing. They just ask you, ‘What do you want me to prescribe to you?'"

[AD]"Eighty-five percent of OxyContin dispensed by docs comes from Florida, and they prescribe Oxy at five times the national average," Dr. Phil says.

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Watch a preview of The OxyContin Express.

 

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