Greene County neighbors concerned new clinic could be suboxone c

Greene County neighbors concerned new clinic could be suboxone clinic

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BAILEYTON, TN (WJHL) -

A new clinic in a Greene County community is causing some big concerns.

What people who live in Baileyton say they thought was going to be an urgent care clinic they now worry could be a Suboxone clinic, a prescription drug used to wean people off heroin and other narcotic pain killers.

In Baileyton there's an ordinance that bans Suboxone clinics from setting up shop within 1,000 feet of homes, churches or schools.

This new clinic in question is within 1,000 feet of all of those.

"The people here in Baileyton were aware that there was going to be an urgent care doctor opening up here in Baileyton and we were kind of excited about that," Cynthia Haass, who owns a business across the street said.

On the clinic's opening day Thursday, Haass said she saw some things that were out of the ordinary.

"There was an armed guard walking around over there with a gun on his side. The cars were filling the parking lot over there, starting to fill our parking lot," Haass said. "There were cars everywhere from out of state from Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia."

Haass said she told the mayor and the local police and they started investigating.

"I went over and talked to the doctor himself and he assures me that it's not a methadone clinic, not a suboxone clinic, not a pain clinic, they have no medication on site, they let me look around there's nothing there, he says that it's a Christian based counseling, yes he does subscribe sometimes some medication to help those people come off drugs," Baileyton Police Chief Joshua Ferguson said.

Because of the ordinance, Ferguson said if the town finds proof this is a full-fledged Suboxone clinic his department can shut it down.

"He says he tries to use counseling to get them off, he doesn't like to use any kind of medication is what he's told me. But there is on occasions where he does use Suboxone."

We went on suboxone.com typed in the zip code of Baileyton and the first entry that comes up is this clinic at 45 Laurel Gap Road, Emmaus Medical & Counseling.

But Ferguson said even that isn't sufficient evidence it's a Suboxone clinic.

Haass said she's worried about her safety and the future of her business.

"I hope he's only open one day a week because I will close that day, but if he's open more than that or going to be open more than that once he gets established I don't know if I'm going to be able to keep my business open here," Haass said. "I'm worried about protecting my clientele, and I don't think that my customers would come back more than once when they see that mess across the street."

The clinic is closed Monday, we called and talked with someone there who told us the primary doctor, Dr. Charles Backus, would be calling us back, but we haven't heard from him.

We'll continue to follow this story as we get more information , and update you on the clinics response.

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