Pain Clinics: Do Some Prescribe Legal Drugs Illegally?


Often known on the street as "smurfing", recruiters and low-level dealers approach homeless people encouraging them to visit a pain clinic and acquire prescription medications in return for quick cash. Bill estimates he has gone on these types of prescription drug runs upwards of 75 times and after each one, pockets around 20 dollars per prescription he fills.

"Everybody knows this stuff is illegal. But they doing it because of easy pay. Easy money," said Bill.

"You will see that same sentence over and over and over again for all the patients," said Robinson. "They all seem to complain about the same things. That's how you know you're dealing with a mill and not something particularly authentic."

Similarly, Cuomo spoke to John Kowal, a police officer with the Houston Police Department assigned to the narcotics division, about the growing trend of street distribution of prescription narcotics.

"It's a growing epidemic everywhere," said Kowal. "We need to step it up. We need to see what we can do to at least be on top of our game."

But for Ken and Esther Scarborough, this vow of progress is too late to save their son. So they've taken matters into their own hands.

"We formed Parents Against Prescription Drug Abuse, to educate parents about this threat," said Esther. "I don't want any other mother or father to have to go in there and try to revive their child."

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Brennan McCord contributed to this report

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