Tennessee Pain Consultants is forced to move, after a Morristown city ordinance was enforced
A Morristown pain clinic has shut its doors, and is now planning to move somewhere else. Morristown city officials are enforcing a new city ordinance to keep the clinics away from many city landmarks.
"Tennessee Pain Consultants" sat empty Thursday afternoon. The clinic, located at the corner of Andrew Johnson Highway and New Line Road was forced to either close or move to a new location under a Morristown city ordinance passed in February this year.
Outlining the requirements for pain clinics located within city limits, the ordinance reads:
"The clinic shall not be located within one thousand (1,000) feet, as measured from property line to property line, of any school, day care facility, park, church, residential district, pharmacy, or similar facility that sells or dispenses either prescription drugs or over the counter drugs."
Under that ordinance, the clinic was found in violation. According to the Morristown Board of Zoning Appeals, the clinic asked for a variance to stay, and was denied this week.
The clinic posted signs on windows informing customers there will be a new location soon.
While the ordinance only applies to pain clinics within the city limits, Hamblen County Sheriff Esco Jarnagin says prescription drug abuse is problem extending to all of East Tennessee.
"Drugs have no barrier. It's like death. You can't get away from it, especially in Hamblen County," the Sheriff said.
"My jail is overpopulated, 85 percent of my jail population is contributed to pain pills."
He says it is not an easy problem to solve.
"It's a difficult challenge to fight for the simple reason that it seems like everybody is on some kind of pill."