For years, Florida pill mills fed America's appetite for prescription painkillers, especially OxyContin.
When other states cracked down, addicts and opportunists streamed into Florida to get their pills. The path they took was known as the Oxy Express.
It didn't stop until 2011, when Florida finally cracked down on pill mills.
Photographer Thomas Cordy and I drove the Oxy Express to see what happened to the people who got their oxy from Florida, and what happened to their communities.
We started in Pennington Gap, Virginia, a tiny old mining town with a notorious claim to fame. Drug maker Purdue Pharma targeted the region for sales of its new, highly addictive pain reliever, OxyContin, back in 1996.
Sister Beth Davies is an addiction counselor in Pennington Gap. She had never heard of OxyContin when people started overdosing on it back then.
When Florida Oxy disappeared, Pennington Gap's drug problem didn't go away. The new drug of choice was Suboxone, which is meant to keep people off of Oxy.
We met Dustin Morelock on the town's main drag. He called Suboxone "the wonder pill" for the way it helped him stop using painkillers.
He told us he had been taking up to 90 pills a day.
But Suboxone is also the dominant street drug. Robert Brewer used to drive to Broward County for oxy. He said the withdrawals from Suboxone are worse. When we talked to him, he had gone seven days without Suboxone and was still in active withdrawal.
From Pennington Gap we drove about 3 1/2 hours north to Huntington, West Virginia.
Despite losing industrial jobs, its downtown is thriving, and it's the home of Marshall University, a major public college.
Yet few places in the country have been hit so hard by heroin and pills.
Almost one in 10 people in the region are active users.
Many got their start with Florida Oxy. Will Lockwood was one of them. He said people drove down by the vanload to go doctor-shopping in Florida. They came back with hundreds of pills to sell. When Florida cut off the flow of Oxy, Detroit drug dealers moved in.
Now, it's everywhere. We were at our hotel just one hour when a guest told us the Marcum Terrace housing project was the place to go to get heroin.
Everyone is affected. We met a woman who said she came from a prominent family that didn't know she was an addict. During our interview, she shot up in a gas station bathroom.
Officials here are well aware of Florida's role in their heroin epidemic. States begged Florida to crack down on pill mills. Mayor Steve Williams said he "would have wrung the neck" of any Florida official he met in his hometown.
Huntington's mayor wasn't the only one complaining about Florida. Across the Ohio River, in Kentucky, a sheriff locked horns with state officials.
Greenup County Sheriff Keith Cooper is a character. During the Oxy crisis, he told a reporter that the Florida governor must be corrupt for not cracking down on pill mills. He hasn't been to Florida since.
Mikey Frazier drove to Florida for pills and was caught drug trafficking. When he got out of prison, Florida pills were gone, so he switched to heroin.
Now that Florida oxy is gone, Greenup is overrun with Detroit gang members selling heroin, just like Huntington.
Just across the river from Greenup's Riverview Cemetery Road is Ohio. Last year, Kentucky and Ohio both had the highest OD death rate in the nation.
In Louisville, about three hours west of Greenup, we visited The Healing Place, a free treatment center that has been around for decades.
It went from treating alcoholics to heroin addicts. In between, said former Healing Place supervisor Pat Fogarty, it saw locals hooked on Florida Oxy.
We ended our trip driving the same interstates that thousands of people used to get to Florida years earlier.
They don't have to drive this route anymore. Today, the heroin comes to them.
A few weeks after we ended our trip, 27 people overdosed in five hours in Huntington. They all got heroin at Marcum Terrace.
When we left Mikey Frazier, he was getting ready to leave Greenup County.
He had 62 days sober.