WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dave Aronberg is a former Democratic state senator who was appointed by the new Republican attorney general to close the shady clinics across the state.
Since more than 300 are in Palm Beach and Broward counties, he opened his office in West Palm Beach.
James McGilvary still has his son's collection of pain-pill bottles.
"We need somebody to stand up to these drug companies and these killer drugs and the pill mills and tell them 'you know what, no more,' " said McGilvary.
His son is serving a three-year sentence for stealing money to pay for the thousands of pain pills he took each month. McGilvary runs an anti-pain pill web site.
"My son got in trouble a year ago, he was close to death from these drugs," said McGilvary.
He got an email from Dave Aronberg on Tuesday, a former state senator whom he'd met with last year to plead his case on pill mills.
Thursday was Aronberg's first day on the job.
"These are not just junkies from Kentucky. These are families locally, someone who is injured at work, and then they get hooked on this medicine and it's too easy to get the drugs," said Aronberg.
He wants to require anyone who visits a clinic for pills to take a drug test first. He also wants a state database to track patients and to make it harder for clinics to hand pills over to those who pay more up front.
"Florida used to be the cocaine capital of the country. This is worse. Cocaine is hard to get and expensive. This is easy, plentiful, and it's cheap," said Aronberg.
The latest push gives McGilvary new hope that his cries are being heard.
"If he goes out there and knows that he's carrying the voice and the spirit of our loved ones, that these killer doctors and these pill mills have taken from us, and he wakes up everyday and with that weight on his shoulders, I think he can get it done," said McGilvary.
Aronberg also wants to make it illegal for clinics to own their own pharmacies, which allow them to get around 72-hour restrictions of selling pills to the same customers.
He admits that he is working within an executive branch that is anti-regulation.
But he calls these regulations no-brainers.
He says his years as a state senator can help him get these things done.
For more information on McGilvary's anti-pill mill effort, you can go to www.banoxycontin.com.
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