By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Spend ten minutes driving around this area — anywhere from north of Palm Beach to south of Miami — and it might seem like Florida has more pain clinics than orange groves. Most clinics have a licensed medical professional who sees patients, "diagnoses" medical problems, prescribes medication, and fills the prescription — all in the same place. Many of these establishments advertise in various local publications (like this one), offering discounted or free first visits. Though their signage might look like they're some sort of emergency room, most pain clinics are open only a few hours a day. It's safe to say that some of their doctors might not like working long hours away from their big, shiny yachts.
How to Shop
If you're in from out of state, it might be difficult to find a clinic that doesn't require Florida identification. This is a recent development, a reaction to pressure from various law enforcement agencies. You can still find a few places that don't require local ID, but expect to pay $200 to $300 per visit.
Cash might be the quickest option, but most places accept credit cards. One local pill connoisseur — for her sake, we'll call her Pained Patty — says that if you have a few hundred dollars and an ID and you can say you have a vague medical problem, "You can basically ask for the drug you want by name and be in and out in under ten minutes." Patty adds, "It helps if you don't ask for, like, 20 different drugs all at once and if you don't look like a smuggler. None of these people want to get in trouble."
Be prepared to brush up against the other clientele in the small waiting rooms. These could be some wide-eyed, spaced-out, unwashed, greasy-haired pillheads who quite literally do not know you're in the room even though you've been sharing an armrest for half an hour. Bring hand sanitizer.
Scoring Coke Like a Local
There was a time in South Florida when cocaine simply fell from the sky. Really: Smugglers in airplanes being chased by cops often tried to ditch the evidence by making it snow on the cities below. A kilo once crashed through the roof of a Baptist church during Sunday service.
Today, most of the old cocaine cowboys are either hustling powder in the celestial kingdom or eating taxpayer-bought meat loaf, so it's a bit harder to procure a taste of Bolivian marching powder. But far from impossible.
What type of fiend are you — the poor soul who braves perilous streets with a few grubby dollar bills clenched in your fist? Or do you just have your marketing intern pick up a vial on the way to the office? Either way, we probably don't want to hang out with you, unless you're that one cokehead out of ten who isn't as annoying as a Lil Wayne album on daylong loop. With that as a disclaimer, let's break down the ways South Floridians procure cocaine nowadays:
Over the phone
Who cops this way: hedge-fund traders, touring musicians, exiled foreign dictators.
How the conversation starts: "Diamond Larry, this is your congressman. Listen, about those resolutions of national importance you're working on: Could I make it five instead of three? Yeah, I'm having company."
Pros: You don't have to leave your penthouse, meaning you can continue to impress those two prostitutes you hired with your immense knowledge of the new Phil Collins album.
Cons: If you call with your cell phone, that's a federal crime. And under the Patriot Act, cops can listen to all of your phone calls. And look out the window! Do you see those black helicopters, man?!
Who cops this way: Prostitutes looking to cut out the middle man, Second Lifers who haven't slept in four days, and, sadly, your little sister.
How the conversation starts: "This ski lift is looking for a cute snow bunny 4 a night-long ride on the slopes! Tons of frost! Come ride the slalom!
Pros: Well, free coke.
Cons: You have to have sex with a very disgusting, dirty, and chubby man.
On the corner
Who cops this way: Individuals who are known around the neighborhood only as "Pink Eye," "Loose Linda," or "That guy who's always trying to sell me a broken VCR."
How the conversation starts: "Red tops! We got red tops!"
Pros: Just $5! (Also, some dealers take stolen jewelry.)
Cons: That's pure laxative you're about to smoke. And that's a cop across the street in the Buick LeSabre. And, man, wasn't that your great-uncle's graduation ring?
From an undercover law enforcement official
Who cops this way: That guy Diamond Larry who you used to make runs with.
How the conversation starts: "Hey, bro, it's Diamond Larry. Just made bond, man! What can I say, I got a great lawyer. Hey, listen, wanna make another run?"
Pros: The cops want you to help them nab the guy one step higher on the food chain than you. And you never liked Manolo anyway.