Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco moves forward on new rules for pain clinics

NEW PORT RICHEY — Pasco commissioners gave initial approval Tuesday to an ordinance that would require local pain management clinics to register themselves and would block new ones from opening for up to a year.

Pasco's ordinance, which comes up for a final vote on July 13, would require the estimated 35 local clinics to register with the county within 30 days. After that period, a one-year moratorium on new clinics would go into place.

Neighboring counties have adopted similar measures with the hope of cracking down on the so-called pill mills that attract addicts and dealers, including those from other states.

The flurry of local ordinances is intended to supplement a new state law that goes into effect later this year, which will put another layer of registration requirements on the clinics and give local law enforcement agencies more authority to investigate alleged abuses.

Applicants would have to pay a $2,500 filing fee and show they have registered with the state Department of Health. Clinics would have to post their county permits; those that operate without one could face daily fines up to $500.

The ordinance cites the "threat of illegal narcotic activity and increased crime," which could "undermine the economic health of the county's development and redevelopment efforts."

New regulations passed in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties were also cited, which could make Pasco "a target for the location of pain management clinics."

Local governments can't outlaw the clinics. But they can regulate such things as location, operational hours and parking through land use codes.

County officials says they plan to use the moratorium to get a better handle on whether Pasco needs such land use regulations.

Elizabeth Blair, senior assistant county attorney, told commissioners that law enforcement authorities could use the registration data to help determine whether a clinic is legitimate.

But the county's regulations would not do much to clinics that are breaking the law. County Attorney Jeff Steinsnyder said it is up to state and federal authorities to investigate whether a clinic may be a fraudulent business.

"There's only so much this board can do," he said.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

By the numbers

98 Oxycodone-related deaths in Pasco and Pinellas counties in 2004

294 Oxycodone-related deaths in Pasco and Pinellas counties in 2009

9 Violent crimes in Pasco connected to prescription drug abuse in 2004

86 Violent crimes in Pasco connected to prescription drug abuse in 2009

57 Prescription drug fraud cases in Pasco in 2004

138 Prescription drug fraud cases in Pasco in 2009

Sources: Medical Examiner District 6; Pasco Sheriff's Office

Pasco moves forward on new rules for pain clinics 06/22/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 10:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  2. Rays relishing surprise status

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays on Friday played their first post-All-Star Game contest at Tropicana Field while holding a playoff spot since Sept. 23, 2013.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  4. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.
  5. Rick Kriseman's administration lashed in St. Pete sewage report

    Water

    ST. PETERSBURG — A state report places much of the blame for the city's 200-million gallon sewage spill crisis on the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    Signs at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg warn people in September 2016 to stay out of the water due to contamination from partially treated sewage from the city's overwhelmed sewer system. St. Petersburg dumped up to 200 million gallons of sewage over 13 months from 2015-16. A new state report blames much of the crisis on mistakes made by the administration of Mayor Rick Kriseman, but also critcizes past administrations. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]