According to a representative from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Tampa is now the nation’s top spot to obtain prescription drugs. A report in the Tampa Tribune cited this demographic from an agent in the Inspector General’s office.
Apparently, certain Tampa store-front clinics, some with lines wrapping around the buildings at times, are requiring that people only get a minimal health screening in order to get medication. The screening could be anything as small as having blood pressure taken.
Investigators are trying to discern which of the approximately thirty-five clinics within Tampa (seventy altogether in Hillsborough County) are operating under legitimate guidelines and which might be breaking the law.
Some have already been labeled “pill mills,” and are attracting people from other counties and states. Not everyone is coming to medicate themselves. Some come here to buy the prescription drugs and then sell them elsewhere for a profit.
The most common requests are for painkillers (both physical and emotional painkillers).
Why are we a nation of “legal” drug takers?
TV pharmaceutical advertisements depict happy people with utopian lifestyles—supposedly due to getting relief from the company’s medicine. This has made it acceptable to take painkillers and emotion enhancements. There are even new names for “diseases” invented as an excuse for poor behavior.
Never mind that taking this medication for your single ailment will give you anywhere from six to ten side effects that will leave you worse off than you started.
Never mind that your problem could be easily solved by diet, herbs, exercise or alternative treatment that some doctors and the FDA won’t approve or even tell you about because they are being romanced by Big Pharma.
We like being anesthetized. And that doesn’t mean the kind we get in surgery. People don’t want to feel bad anymore. Being fed a steady diet of “tolerance” and the pop psychology of never hearing any negative feedback, we’ve been conditioned to numb ourselves to adverse experiences.
Is this an indication of spiritual sickness?
More and more physicians and psychologists are admitting that making sure we are well-rounded—emotionally, physically, relationally and spiritually—can do a world of good for our health.
But that’s hard. It means exercising. It means working on communicating and spending time with our spouses and kids instead of packing our schedule or being behind a texting device or computer. It means admitting that there might be a hole in our hearts where we need God, which isn’t really acceptable today.
Could it be that there is a God who can fill that emptiness, that emotional vacancy that can actually make us physically sick inside? That hollowness that must be squelched with the presence of medication?
Proverbs 3:5-8 says: Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
Tampa, get a grip. Find a spiritual center and step away from the pills.
“Tampa is hub for pill mills,” Ray Reyes, Tampa Tribune, online at tbo.com 8/13, in newspaper 8/16, p. 1 and 6.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.