Lenoir City dealing with a rise in pain clinics

Lenoir City dealing with a rise in pain clinics

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By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – It's a problem the Lenoir City police chief says has been seeping into their area over the last six to eight 8 months, pain clinics.

Chief Don White says it started with one clinic, then two more opened.

"And since that time, we've encountered vehicles from Kentucky, and three or four counties away. We felt that was odd. We've received calls at our local pharmacies that these individuals were coming from a great distance away looking for pills," said Chief White.

He says now that the clinics have found a new place to set up, the doctor shoppers have followed.

"It's a concern for me that an individual would drive 60, 70 or 100 miles from their community to seek pain medication for a problem they have," said Chief White.

Along with the rise in the number of pain clinics, they're also seeing a rise in the number of crimes they can link to drugs.

For example, right now they're seeing a spike in the number of batteries stolen out of vehicles because of the high price of lead. Police can link the thefts to drug purchases.

When we visited all three clinics, they were closed. All are located on main roads, in complexes with other businesses.

The chief says they are taking a hard look at what's going on and how to deal with it.

"It's a difficult thing. We certainly want to be proactive and look at what other communities have done. We're going to begin the process of doing that now," said Chief White.

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