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Lilburn Sets Pain Clinic Standards

Lilburn City Council wants to keep pill mills out of the city, and a new ordinance voted on Monday evening is its step toward doing that.

Pain management clinics will have a tougher time popping up in Lilburn, due to new rules city council approved on Monday.

The new ordinance, several pages in length, identifies what pain management clinics are, how they should apply for a permit in Lilburn, how they should operate and what the penalties are for those who do not follow the rules.

It was approved unanimously, 3-0.

It's not the legitimate doctors the city is going after, but rather prescription peddlers, who bypass insurance verifications and get patients from many miles away.

"These pain clinics that we're talking about have one modality, and that's put the cash on the table and you get 180 hydrocodone or the drug of your choice," said councilmember Dr. Scott Batterton, during the city council work session on Aug. 13.

Other cities across the nation have adopted similar, strict rules for pain management clinics. Specifically, Lilburn looked at those created by Kennesaw, which has had its own battle with pill mills.

Currently, no pill mill law exists in Georgia, making it the responsibility of city leaders to do what they can with ordinances. City Attorney Richard Carothers described Georgia as "woefully behind" in crippling the growing problem.

Police Chief Bruce Hedley approved of the new measure, adding that deaths from prescription pain medications outpace those from injuries in accidents now. And, in Georgia, the rate is "alarming."

"They're spreading pure poison into the community, nothing short of that," he said during the city council work session. "That's my opinion."

Hence, Lilburn City Council's new ordinance.

Among other items, new business license requirements include:

  1. Interested parties must obtain a city-issued, annual pain management clinic license, which must be applied for in person.
  2. Applicants must be a board-eligible physician with pain management fellowship training or certification, or a hospital-affiliated clinic managed by such a person.
  3. There must be a sworn statement on record that the applicant, any business partners or staff have not been convicted of, pleaded guilty to or nolo contendre to a felony in any state within the past five years.
  4. There must be a sworn statement on record of whether the applicant, any business partners or staff have been involved in an investigation (as subject or witness) regarding dispensing or prescribing of medicine.
  5. A number of other documents, including the Drug Enforcement Administration number given to those dispensing drugs, must accompany the application.
  6. Background checks must be completed before a license can be issued.

Once a license is issued prohibited acts, among others include not operating within:

  • 2,500 feet of another pain management clinic
  • 500 feet of a business that sales alcohol
  • 500 feet of a sexually orientated business
  • 500 feet of a pawn shop

A business found to be not in agreement with the city's rules faces suspension of its business license or revocation.

Speak out: What do you think of the city's stance and new rules regarding pain management clinics? Let us know in the comment section!

Bonnie August 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM
It's a very good idea to get ahead of this problem.
J. Williams August 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I have been told that there is a pill clinic at back of Berkmar High School on Lawrenceville Hwy., back away from the street behind some other medical businesses. They have cars from other states, and parking lot overflows at times I've been told.
J. Williams August 15, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I was at my dentist again this morning, and don't know the reason, but the large sign that was on the pill clinic building has been removed.
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Wanna get ahead of the problem? Do away with the Controlled Substance Act of 1973. Make the booze makers and peddlers compete with all other forms of liesure drug usage on an even playing field. Or do away with the federal anti-trust laws that prohibit monopolies in business enterprises. As it stands, with the feds sponsoring alcohol as the legal drug of choice along side these Draconian controlled substance laws, all we have is hypocrisy from one end of this issue to the other. Either eliminate all drugs...including booze...or make all drugs equally available. Why should I have to fork over money to a doctor for permission to buy pain meds? Liberty in the US is a joke. It's all and always about money. The big liquor wealthy businesses enjoy the exclusive access to the free market system...oh, yeah and so do the Italians, Cicilians, Russians and Columbians who control the black market. This is why the founding fathers of this nation wanted to protect us from politicians with too deep a reach into our personal lives. Eliminate the Controlled Substance Act of 1973 and return some credibility to America's way of life. Otherwise, you're just a part of the problem rather than the solution. But these typical three man dictatorships in these counties are too ignorant to see past their own immediate prejudices and actually address the problem. They believe a few more rules will fix everything. To be continued...
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 04:53 PM
On the one hand we have federal anti-trust laws against any business entity cornoring a given market in such a way as to exclude competition. We pay smart prosecutors to protect us from such conditions and they stay busy. On the other hand, we have a government sponsored drug santioned across all levels of jurisdiction with distributors on almost every street corner. The only real restriction to access is age (21 yrs. old). Using the Controlled Substance Act of 1973, signed into law by a Republican led executive branch...Ronald Reagan...that is being used to obliterate any real competition for Americans business of liesure activities and pleasure. Booze is the only legal drug available to Americans by design. This is a flagrant violation of the federal Anti-trust laws. Not to mention an out right disgrace to the Constitution of this nation. But there's too much money involved to make any real change from a political challenge. 5.7 billion dollars annually across all levels of guvment makes it hard to justify any real challenge to this issue. That just from direct taxes on sales of beer, wine and liquor. There's likely another 8 or 9 hundred million in residual taxes collected in the manufacturing, delivery and distribution of this product. Can we spell H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y. It's okay for guvment to violate the anti-trust laws designed to protect a free market, but let an individual or business entity do so and watch how fast they get shut down. To be continued...
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Then there's an estimated 26 million Americans living with chronic and acute pain every single day of their lives. Many without insurance. Did I see one of the conditions for a pain clinic being the necessity of the customer to have insurance? Why? What does this provide that assures us such a clinic is legit? If these imbeciles will actually examine the protocol involved in an insurance claim where do they find any help against pain meds for profit if the bill is expected to be paid by an insurance company? So where does that leave the innocent pain suffering taxpayer who can't afford insurance, (due to the high cost of taxation probably). It's too easy to push responsibility for enforcing these rules and regulations off on some insurance jockey expecting him or her to make sure they don't pay any medical bills to a clinic that addresses Americans medical needs. But what criteria do they use to determine if they should pay this bill or that one? Are they medically competent enough to make such a decision? This is called "Taxation Without Representation" and was a primary ingredient in the first revolution. Back then the catalyst was TEA. Today its any and all drugs except alcohol. has anyone checked the stats on the use of alcohol lately? Liver disease and traffic fatalities alone far out shadow all the negative stats you can find about any other drug out there. But right now the focus is on pain meds. To be continued...
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Alright...so what is the general consensus on opening up the market for the distribution of all drugs? "Well, this would certainly create an atmosphere for drug addiction of epidemic proportions." I see, so your main concern is for the health and well being of your fellow Americans? "Yah, what's wrong with that?" Why nothing, if that were actually the case. Problem is, how do you explain all these alcoholics, the dead and maimed from traffic fatalities, liver disease, etc. and so forth? The stats from these alone conclusively demsonstrates that your sponsored legal drug of choice has long since surpassed any reasonable criteria to qualify as an epidemic...and yet you still license and sanction the opening of distribution centers every day somewhere around this country. Where's all this concern for your fellow Americans health and well being when alcohol is the drug in question? You see, your Controlled Substance Act has empowered you to transform America into a land of hypocrisy. Your only and real concern here is "THE BOTTOM LINE". Money is the real driving force behind all this hooplah being regurgitated on an ad naseum basis demonizing anyone affiliated with any other drug but alcohol. The fact is, human beings are always going to occasion the desire to escape the daily grind, enjoy the fruits of their labors, socialize, get high or self medicate. It creates a HUGE market. Can you somehow magically regulate this market with a monopoly?
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 06:09 PM
It's also an even better idea to identify the actual problem, else you're liable to find yourself so far out in left field as to become a literal problem yourself. Pain clinics are just a response to the real problem. Many Americans are genuinely in need of these medications but have no insurance and hail from states with such Draconian laws, erected in an effort to "get ahead of this problem", that finding a doctor willing to help them is impossible. So what is their alternative? The black market, pain clinics, or just suffer and die? No one is really interested in "getting ahead of this problem". It gets lost in the shuffle between the recreational drug users and the liquor makers efforts to protect his monopoly. The problem is a battle raging between the black marketers and the liquor industry. People with a medical need for some of these drugs, and people who prefer not to poison themselves with alcohol are the pawns in this battle. The black marketers are cleverly using guvment regulation to create huge market opportunities for them to rush in and enrich themselves over. Placing a drug on the Controlled Substance list is like winning an Oscar nomination on the black market. But the stupid liquor makers only see drugs...all drugs...as a threat to their profit margin. Why should "free" Americans have to endure a guvment looking over their shoulders regulating their decisions of what to introduce into their bodies? To be continued...
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I'm reminded of the guy verbally bashing his son's friend as a pothead, all-the-while standing there with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Yet that's what I'm seeing on a common basis whenever this issue of pain management or pill mills is raised. Anyone who rejects the guvments sanctioned drug in favor of some other drug is lumped into a special group along with pedophiles and serial killers. The rumors, lies, mis-information, prejudice and just out right hatred surrounding this issue has escalated recently and beginning to change the way some professionals associated with drug distribution are doing business. I'm specifically referring here to the pharmacists. What I'm encountering when I try to fill my scripts is nothing short of incredulous. These folks haven't a clue what the real issues are but they do know a threat to their license to practice pharmacology when they see one. I'm having to read between the lines but what I've surmised thusfar is they are being compelled by DHEC and the DEA to resist filling any out-of-state script for a class two narcotic. In so doing they are opening themselves up to law suits and it's only a matter of time.
John Q Public September 02, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I have a personal vested interest in this issue because of my own medical condition that is addressed with oxycodone...effectively. When I stood at the counter of a Walgreens where I had been getting my scripts filled regularly for some time, and was told by my pharmacist that she didn't feel comfortable filling my scripts any longer. When I reminded her that these medications had serious withdrawal effects if not taken as directed and that I also had a heart condition which exacerbated these effects dramatically; when she apologized...insincerely...and turned away from me, refusing to help...and I consistently encountered the same response for the next 6 hours as I visited pharmacy after pharmacy racing to beat the clock against the withdrawal symptoms that I could feel approaching; when I finally found a pharmacist at an independantly owned pharmacy to fill my scripts, I made up my mind to find out what the hell was really going on here and why. I remember talking with other patients at the clinic I use in Lilburn Georgia who were driving 6,7, even 8 hours from the states of Tennessee and Kentucky to get their pain meds, so I decided to investigate this issue thoroughly...and so I have. It all traces back to money. I discovered that these two states derive a large share of their local incomes from the manufacture of liquors and consequently also have the most Draconian laws on their books against any other substance that could be used for pleasure. To be continued...
Roger Bevins January 26, 2013 at 04:19 AM
I had a very similar incident with a pharmacist at walgreens on bells ferry road that filled my prescriptions for 6 months to do the exact same thing you mentioned in the exact same way

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