Home Feed
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
American Pain
American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed Americas Deadliest Drug Epidemic | John Temple
Finalist for the Edgar Award in Best Fact Crime! The king of the Florida pill mills was American Pain, a mega-clinic expressly created to serve addicts posing as patients. From a fortress-like former bank building, American Pains doctors distributed massive quantities of oxycodone to hundreds of customers a day, mostly traffickers and addicts who came by the vanload. Inked muscle-heads ran the clinics security. Former strippers operated the pharmacy, counting out pills and stashing cash in garbage bags. Under their lab coats, the doctors carried gunsand it was all legal sort of. American Pain was the brainchild of Chris George, a 27-year-old convicted drug felon. The son of a South Florida home builder, Chris George grew up in ultra-rich Wellington, where Bill Gates, Springsteen, and Madonna kept houses. Thick-necked from weightlifting, he and his twin brother hung out with mobsters, invested in strip clubs, brawled with cops, and grinned for their mug shots. After the housing market stalled, a local doctor clued in the brothers to the burgeoning underground market for lightly regulated prescription painkillers. In Florida, pain clinics could dispense the meds, and no one tracked the patients. Seizing the opportunity, Chris George teamed up with the doctor, and word got out. Just two years later Chris had raked in $40 million, and 90 percent of the pills his doctors prescribed flowed north to feed the rest of the countrys insatiable narcotics addiction. Meanwhile, hundreds more pain clinics in the mold of American Pain had popped up in the Sunshine State, creating a gigantic new drug industry. American Pain chronicles the rise and fall of this game-changing pill mill, and how it helped tip the nation into its current opioid crisis, the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. The narrative swings back and forth between Florida and Kentucky, and is populated by a gaudy and diverse cast of characters. This includes the incongruous band of wealthy bad boys, thugs and esteemed physicians who built American Pain, as well as penniless Kentucky clans who transformed themselves into painkiller trafficking rings. It includes addicts whose lives were devastated by American Pains drugs, and the federal agents and grieving mothers who labored for years to bring the clinics crew to justice.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
post image

An in-depth look into the rise and fall of the biggest pain clinic in Florida. I wish I could say I'm shocked at what they got away with, but I'm not. An interesting story, but nothing new I haven't heard before.

55 likes2 stack adds
post image

I love this #audiobook, but was #Justice served putting a few pill mill operators behind bars, even if they were the largest in the country at the time? It‘s hard to overstate the havoc they‘ve wrought in my home state.

In the Star Trek episode, one of the characters is given an unfairly harsh punishment, but I wonder if the punishment for these pill pushers was too light. 🤔

#StarTrekSummerMay Day 2

post image

#nonfiction2019 #sawonlitsy thanks to @megabooks for posting about this book! Yes, this sure was a crazy good listen! True crime story of the rise and fall of some “larger than life” characters who built up a “mobster-like” pill-mill operation in Florida, earning millions through distribution of massive quantities of legal opioid pain meds to addicted patients. It had a major influence on the rising opioid epidemic in the nation. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Megabooks So glad you liked it!! 👍🏻👍🏻 9mo
kindergartenkat Oh, this will work for one of my book riot tasks too - I have to read a nonviolent true crime book 9mo
Cinfhen This book sounds really good!!! Did you ever read MasterMind @Megabooks 9mo
See All 17 Comments
Megabooks @Cinfhen I bought the audiobook and promptly took an audiobook hiatus! 😂😂 9mo
Cinfhen Ha!!! I‘m also on hiatus from audio right now!!! @Megabooks 9mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I think we both overdid in the winter lol! 9mo
Cinfhen I‘m thinking I should put a hold on my audible account @Megabooks can I do that???? 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen You definitely can. Another thing you can do is back down to the plan where you get the least credits. That‘s what I‘m on because I also have Scribd. 9mo
Cinfhen Thanks @BarbaraTheBibliophage why u up??? Are u in Paris now???? 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Yes! We arrived yesterday and are about to start day two! 9mo
Cinfhen Have fun @BarbaraTheBibliophage ❣️post pictures 😄 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Cinfhen Are you on Instagram? That‘s where all of them will be. @BarbaraSearles But if not I‘ll try to get some here also. 9mo
Cinfhen I have an account but almost never go on...are you @BarbaraTheBibliophage on IG ??? I‘ll log on later and take a peek ❤️ 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage No I‘m barbara_searles over there. ♥️🇫🇷👏🏻 9mo
jb72 Pills are a huge problem in Florida. I used to work for the SO in one county. It‘s such a shame how addicted people get. A woman who worked with me lost her son to pills. 9mo
AnneFindsJoy @jb72 so sad :( Between pills and gaming, it seems boys are not doing well resisting these addicting temptations! 9mo
jb72 @AnneFindsJoy You‘re right. My bf‘s son just plays video games all day in his room. He‘s 27 yo. I mean come on. Go read a book or go do something fun. 9mo
34 likes17 comments
post image

This book is so good! It‘s about how two former felons built the biggest pill mill in the country, and how it was taken down by the police. Really great narrative #nonfiction and would be a good book for anyone interested in the opiate crisis. Narrator is great if you‘re interested in audio.

#audibook #audible #narrativenonfiction tagging some of my nonfiction buddies!

ChasingOm I found this on my shelf while reorganizing this weekend, lol, so I‘m cracking it once I finish American Overdose. 9mo
Cinfhen Thanks for the tag!! Always on the lookout for new NF, especially audio!!! 9mo
AnneFindsJoy Ooh yes I‘m definitely stacking this one!!!!! 🙏📚👍🤗 9mo
See All 18 Comments
Megabooks @ChasingOm I hope you enjoy it! 9mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen no problem! I hope you try it sometime! 9mo
Megabooks @AnneFindsJoy Yay!! 😁😁👍🏻📚 9mo
Cinfhen Did u read this one??its a crazzy true life story of the guy who ran and created the largest online pill and medical pharmacy 9mo
AnneFindsJoy @Cinfen that story looks crazy! I think I tagged that when I saw you(or another Litten) use it for NF bingo #turnedoutunexpectedly (if I remember correctly) I have a hold placed for it at the library!! Can‘t wait! (edited) 9mo
Megabooks @AnneFindsJoy That‘s great! I only have one spot left on my Bingo!! 🍾🥂🎉🎉 9mo
Megabooks Have either of you read Dreamland? It‘s really good, too! @Cinfhen @AnneFindsJoy 9mo
Cinfhen I can‘t remember what box I used it for @AnneFindsJoy but it‘s a crazzzy story!! Let me know if you get to it!! You too, Meg 😍 9mo
Cinfhen I bought it as a #kindledailydeal #DreamLand but haven‘t read it yet 9mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen it‘s really good! It covers how the heroin trade has taken OxyContin‘s place. I need to listen to it again. Good audiobook, too! 9mo
Oblomov26 Yep this is a fascinating and in many ways a shocking book - shocking that they could operate so openly and flagrantly, but also shocking at how they were shutdown and the implication of this shutdown 9mo
Megabooks @Oblomov26 I also found Derek‘s lack of remorse shocking, sort of. And how Cynthia could play so dumb! 9mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Thanks for the heads up on this one! I have it saved in Scribd, but haven‘t started it. And thanks for the reminder about The Mastermind also, @Cinfhen . I saw it in BOTM but also just found it in Scribd. I need to read Dreamland also—I have the print and audio! 9mo
Megabooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage Great! I hope you enjoy them when you read them! 9mo
94 likes6 stack adds18 comments
post image

Great story! I wish it had been more factual and less narrative. I would have liked more details on how laws have changed and what the present state of the situation is.

post image

@Jenshootsweddings is an excellent chooser of books I've added to my Litsy TBR and forgotten about! 😂 I'm so excited to read both of these, especially the tagged one because I live in what many consider the epicenter for said drug epidemic. (And I agree that Dreamland was fantastic, Jen!) Thank you so much for the books and the awesome Canada swag -- you're the best international match I've had! 😉
#HalloweenGoesPostal #FallBookExchange

Monique Hahaha that loot looks very familiar. Almost like I see it all the time at work 😋 I really love those mugs. Indigo has too many cute mugs! 2y
Jenshootsweddings Yayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! Whew. Glad that mug made it! 2y
Jenshootsweddings @Monique lol! I love Indigo when I‘m shopping for American friends ❤️ 2y
46 likes3 comments
post image

Well, I took #readwhiteandblue a little differently: 4 books about America. American Pain: the opiate crisis, American Hookup: hookup culture at universities, A Vast Conspiracy: the Starr investigation of the Clinton presidency, and Democracy in Black: race and politics in America. Happy 4th fellow Americans!! #jubliantjuly #sizzlinsummerreads

See All 13 Comments
Cinfhen Want to read all of these❤️💙happy 4th to you!! 3y
Megabooks @Cinfhen Happy 4th to you!! 😃😃🇺🇸 3y
britt_brooke Well done! 👏🏻 3y
Megabooks @britt_brooke Thanks! 😊🇺🇸 3y
Eggs 🇺🇸🇺🇸🗽🗽 Happy 4th! 3y
Megabooks @Eggs Back at ya!! 😃👍🏻🇺🇸 3y
UnidragonFrag Dig these choices! #tbr 3y
90 likes1 stack add13 comments
post image

This book is so worth the read. It's disgusting and shocking that so many "respectable" institutions-- everyone from doctors to pill wholesalers to foundations to pharma--were greedy enough to profit from addiction. A criticism: the author could have made the "clinic's" victims more visible. No interviews with people who bought drugs from the clinic, and the portrayal of an overdose victim's loved one was a little condescending & callous.

alisahar Just to add-- the book is really written from the perspective and in the voice of the thugs (no other way to put it) who ran the clinic. So clinic's customers were routinely described in stigmatizing ways as "junkies" and "zombies." I get that as a narrative choice but I wish the author balanced it out a little. Thoughts/disagreements from any other readers? It's debatable for sure! 3y
Kristy_K Great review! 3y
11 likes2 comments
post image

So I worked in communications at an addiction treatment network for two years and I thought I was fairly familiar with pill mills and the opioid crisis, but oh my god. I never really imagined such a brazenly criminal (in the ethical sense) enterprise, enabled by wholesalers, pharma, industry-backed foundations and doctors happy to profit off of it, dealing drugs in broad daylight because it's COMPLETELY LEGAL.

9 likes2 stack adds
post image

4/5 stars! Intriguing story about a topic I knew little about. The story of American Pain gave background on OxyContin, the convicts who made millions off the sale of the drugs (and their enjoyment of spending that fast cash), the effects of FL drug laws on nearby states, and the FBI investigation. I'm with the tattooed muscle man who is serving time now...."Why the f--- were we allowed to be able to sell it in the first place?"

Megabooks I loved it! 3y
12 likes1 stack add1 comment

Well, my hip pain woke me up in the night again when my medicine wore off. ☹️☹️ I'm going to try not to take any more medicine because I want to go to work if I can. Part of the problem is I don't know why it started.

Also, this book is really awesome. The overuse/addictive power of opiates is one of the reasons I don't take them. Plus, they don't really do anything for nerve pain in my body.

RachelO 🙁 I hope it eases and you get a break from the pain today. 3y
DrJAdMerricksson I hope you feel better! I grok random hip pain. My right hip acts up for no reason. 3y
Mimi28 Hope you feel better!! I don't like taking anything stronger than Tylenol. I get hip pain too. Thanks for your support again. My cats woke me up as usual 😻❤❤ 3y
See All 22 Comments
monkeygirlsmama Oh no! Feel better. I wake with hip pain frequently, but it's due to my utterly horrid mattress. 3y
Cinfhen Hope you get a restful peaceful weekend💕 3y
Lizpixie It's a mouse wheel that you can't get off, painkillers. I'm fighting a losing battle of my own with them, unfortunately I don't have a choice if I want to be able to get out of bed every day. I hope you feel better soon.❤️ 3y
Notafraidofwords Feel better Hun! 3y
Karen_V Take care! 3y
LitHousewife So sorry to hear that. Feel better soon! 3y
Smrloomis Darn! Hope you get some relief soon. 3y
Joybishoptx I sure hope you get some relief soon. 3y
CherylDeFranceschi Sorry- I was hoping it was calming down. Hang in there. Take care. Wishing you relief. 3y
Laalaleighh I know chiropractors can be hit or miss but mine works with the US olympics team and he has gotten rid of hip pain for me several times. (Although I saw several that were terrible before I found him) Have you tried seeing a chiro? (I refuse to take pain meds too) 3y
Laalaleighh Also, alternatively, have you tried gabapentin (neurontin)? 3y
Larkken Sorry 😔I've had some luck with heat/ice for muscle pain, but none really with nerve pain. Hope you find something that works. (edited) 3y
melbeautyandbooks I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you find something that helps soon! 3y
Megabooks @Laalaleighh Yes, I've taken some now, but it makes me dizzy and has strong cognitive effects, so I can't drive or work when I take it. 3y
Megabooks @RachelO @DrJAdMerricksson @Mimi28 @monkeygirlsmama @Cinfhen @Notafraidofwords @Karen_V @LitHousewife @Smrloomis @Joybishoptx @CherylDeFranceschi @Larkken @melbeautyandbooks Thank you all! I'm sorry I'm not replying individually. Today has been rough. I worked, but it was hard. I'm hoping things clear up over the weekend. 💙💙 3y
Megabooks @Lizpixie I'm sorry you have to take them. I've gone on and off them (sometimes for months) after surgeries, and it sucks. Thank you for the well wishes! 3y
megt Nerve pain is so frustrating! I hope you're able to get some relief (with as few side effects as possible) soon. 3y
Megabooks @megt Thank you! I'm going to try using my TENS unit tomorrow. 3y
Laalaleighh @Ebooksandcooks I'm sorry it has bad side effects for you! I know how much nerve pain sucks. 3y
54 likes22 comments
post image

I read way more in January than I thought!

I can't recommend Dreamland enough, but American Pain was truly a great follow up for it. It blows my mind that two juice heads with no business or medical background were able to open and operate Florida's biggest pain clinic and have such an impact on the opiate epidemic. I listened to it on audio, and my only complaint was the narrator - he was a bit underwhelming. #readjanuary #bestofjanuary

Reviewsbylola I plan on reading Dreamland soon. 3y
Jenshootsweddings @Reviewsbylola I'm just going to keep recommending it until you read it and take over recommending it! 3y
britt_brooke Excellent! 👏🏻 3y
70 likes2 stack adds3 comments
post image

Best of January! Great start to 2017. My goal of starting graphic novels is working. 😃👍🏻 #NonfictionChallenge17

Karen_V I loved Giant Days! 3y
CarolynOliver Holy mackerel that's a lot of books! 3y
Soubhiville Wow! I'm impressed. 📚📚📚📚 3y
See All 19 Comments
TheWordJar Awesome start!! 3y
Gezemice Wow! Amazing! 3y
dariazeoli Wow!!! 3y
LiteraryinLititz So many books in just one month?! Congrats! 3y
LauraJ Damn, look at you go! 3y
jessdean Nice!👌🏽📚🎉 3y
Chelsey Dang girl, you're gonna give Liberty a run for her money 3y
Anneblythe 🙌🙌🙌 3y
Tnovo That is impressive!! 👍👏👏 3y
Mommamanzi Woah!!!! That's hands down AMAZING!!!! 3y
Megabooks @Chelsey not yet! She is so fast!! 3y
Megabooks @Karen_V @PatienceFortitude It was so awesome. I've finished no 2 and checked out three! 3y
kspenmoll Impressive! 🎉 3y
Megabooks @kspenmoll Thank you!! 😁😁 3y
114 likes19 comments
post image

5⭐️ A must-read if you want to understand the relationship between Florida pain clinics and Appalachian deaths. I loved the OxyContin Express documentary, and this went so much further in explaining the issues through the lens of the largest clinic. Excellent narration on the #audiobook #NonfictionChallenge17

Sorry I haven't been on today. I passed out in my recliner! My neck is paying. 🤣🤣🤣

Jenshootsweddings I just finished this audio as well! It's such a good follower to Dreamland 3y
86 likes8 stack adds2 comments
post image

Just picked this up from #audible. My library didn't have it. I love this topic, so I'm excited. This is definitely a #blameitonlitsy purchase! (And of course I need to start a fourth audiobook. 😉😉)

tpixie What a ' painful ' addiction. I bet this book is good. 3y
saguarosally It's sobering. May it be a beneficial read. 3y
Megabooks @tpixie 🤣🤣 It can be an expensive addiction!! So far the book is good. 3y
Megabooks @saguarosally I really enjoyed Dreamland, and this is coming at a similar idea from a different angle. 3y
68 likes2 stack adds4 comments
post image

#lastbookstacked #seasonsreadings2016 #blameitALLonlitsy 😃😉😘

I've learned about so many great books here! Thank you all! Each of you are my #favelittens 💕💕💕 I've loved seeing everyone's recent adds today.

Shout out to @Ambrosnazzy for the rec!

Alisnazzy Yay!!!! 😍😍😍 3y
Megabooks @Ambrosnazzy 😘😘😘 3y
Reviewsbylola Can't wait to read Unmentionable and Enchanted Islands is fantastic!!! 3y
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola I think Unmentionable is going to be next month's nonfiction! 3y
86 likes2 stack adds4 comments
post image

Yesterday I was drawn towards learning more about the opioid addiction epidemic. #seasonsreadings2016 #lastbookstacked

Leelee.reads Ooooo! Cinnamon and Gunpowder! I stumbled across that one and loved it! Enjoy 👍🏽☠⚔💣🌊🌴🍐🍗🍞 3y
Cinfhen @Amandajoy Book Outlet has Mademoiselle Chanel on sale! I bought it yesterday for my daughter 3y
42 likes2 comments
post image

This is a tough read because this has taken place right in my backyard. Opioids (and now heroin) have taken too many lives, including people I grew up with, and reading about how a very prolific pill mill came to be, was infuriating. But I think it's a good book and gives an insight into the very real problem of addiction. 4🌟

Megabooks I found this one to cover pills and heroin quite well. I'll have to check out yours. It's a fascinating subject. 3y
Alisnazzy @Ebooksandcooks I have a hold on that one at the library ☺️ 3y
saguarosally I've read both this and Dreamland. Two different takes on the opiate massacre, and two important reads. PS: They're both difficult to read right after losing a loved one to heroin. 3y
Hooked_on_books I agree with all the love for Dreamland. It is so well done. 3y
tpixie @saguarosally sorry for your loss. I bet a hard read. 💕 3y
103 likes11 stack adds5 comments
post image

Dropped hubby and baby off at the airport and now I'm kicking off the few days of freedom I have before I fly to NY for Christmas, with some pool-side reading. Nothing says Christmas time quite like 90 degree heat 😖

RealLifeReading Freedom!!! Woohoo! 3y
saresmoore It's so hot! I think this is the best way to endure it. Enjoy the freedom! 3y
feminismandyoga I can't wait to feel that temp on my skin. I am not one of those winter people. Second winter in MD and hating it, buf that's what I get for moving so far north when I'm a Floridian. 3y
106 likes4 comments
post image

In addition to picking up Witness to the Revolution, I also snapped these up at the library. I had told myself that I was only going to the library to drop off my loans & would walk right out so I could start reading from my personal library. That worked out really well 😅😅😅😅 in my defense, all 3 books were already on my TBR list.

LindsayReads "The road to indulgence is paved with last-minute library books." -me ? 3y
Alisnazzy @LindsayReads I need to get this in a print to hang on my wall. Brilliant!!!! 😆😆😆 3y
LindsayReads Anytime. 😆 3y
See All 8 Comments
MicheleinPhilly The last time I brought books back, I made myself leave my library card at home. It was the only way. 3y
Owlizabeth @LindsayReads 😂😂 oh god that's my life 3y
LindsayReads @Owlizabeth Could be worse? 😂 3y
GlitteryOtters Good luck getting through Secondhand Time before it is due back at the library...! So dense. I am mid-read & it feels rather like an unedited info dump of stories. I *swear* I will finish it, though, before this year is out! 3y
sofiaga I didn't know that book by Svetlana. It is going on my list 3y
86 likes3 stack adds8 comments
post image

David Kessler's "A Question of Intent" is my gold standard for exploratory non-fiction; this book doesn't compare. Instead of exposing the larger pill mill epidemic, this book is about one man and his role in a shady business. Verdict: Interesting story; rating downgrade for annoying narration.

post image

A quote from Palahniuk which this book bought to mind

Laalaleighh 😳 that's paradigm shifting deep but I don't know if my brain can handle it. 3y
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
post image

Okay this book was fascinating and raised some real issues. As I previously commented documents the rise and fall of the American Pain Clinic a Florida pill house dedicated to the dispensing of opioids. Although its operations were legal in the strictest definition they were eventually bought low by Rico laws. The final question from one of the defendants remains in my head - why did the government let us do it in the first place? Why would they

Oblomov26 A bunch of ex criminals order a $100,000 with of pain tablets? Why would they give us a license?" But why is it the governments role to tell you what is wrong? And is it wrong for people to want to destroy their life if it brings them short term pleasure? 3y
Megabooks Oooo... Did you see OxyContin Express with Maria VanZeller? (She's definitely a WWW for me!) Anyway, that got me interested in the FL pain clinics. I have to read this! Thanks. #ebc 3y
Oblomov26 @Ebooksandcooks I have not, but it was American Pain Clinic that was one of the main subjects of this documentary 3y
32 likes1 stack add3 comments
post image

Half way through this and all I can say is wow; highly addictive prescription painkillers, capitalism and a ready demand from poorer states during the economic downturn leading to the rise of the pain clinic phenomenon, where drugs were dispensed with no care except ability to pay. This book is opening my eyes to an element of American Society of which I was unaware.

Ukulelebob The worlds a complex place where both the black market and pharmaceutical companies make money off of others addiction and suffering. When we should only on focused on education, safety, and helping addicts recover. 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Definitely one I need to read! Thanks for posting about it! 3y
44 likes4 stack adds2 comments
post image

Very disturbing how pill mills could run so easily

4 likes1 stack add