FLORIDA (CBSMiami) – The state’s crackdown on pill mill operations has led to the same types of clinics popping up in Georgia, The Wall Street Journal reports in the South Florida Business Journal.

The clinics prescribe opioid painkillers to addicts. Such painkillers are now the nation’s deadliest drugs, outpacing heroin and cocaine combined, the Journal reported. More than 16,500 people die every year in the U.s. due to overdosing on them.

Beginning in 2010, Florida created strike forces that shut down the irresponsible clinics that prescribed the deadly drugs. The number of pain clinics operating in Florida has been cut in half since those efforts were put in place.

The presence of painkillers and prescription drugs in the deceased declined in Florida last year, prompting state officials to declare that they are winning the fight against pill mills.

Georgia has been slow to adopt reforms and the pain clinic business has boomed in the state: 125 such clinics were operating in 2012 compared to less than 10 in 2010, according to the state’s Drug and Narcotics Agency.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The South Florida Business Journal contributed to this report.)

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