By Rob Lorei
Today our guest is Dr. Darryl Paulson, professor emeritus of government at USF St.Petersburg, to talk about how the state crackdown on pill mills and prescription drug abuse has made it harder for actual pain sufferers to get the medication they need. At one point, Florida was ground zero for prescription drug abuse, with hundreds of so-called “pill mills” run by unscrupulous doctors operating across that state. In 2012 a task force was formed that arrested hundreds of doctors and patients that were abusing the system, and established firmer requirements on how these medications can be dispensed. As Paulson wrote in a perspective piece for the Tampa Bay Times, these rules have set up expensive and timely hurdles for people with actually chronic pain to obtain the medication they need to manage it. Paulson himself has suffered from chronic pain since childhood, and has repeated faced obstacles in obtaining medication since the new laws were enacted.