Local News

Two southern Indiana communities are taking preliminary steps to more tightly regulate prescription pills by cracking down on pain clinics. Prescription painkiller abuse is becoming more common, and some say the pills are easier to get legally due to unscrupulous pain clinic operators.

The Courier-Journal reports that New Albany city councilman Scott Blair has introduced an ordinance to prohibit clinics from operating within 500 feet of a residential district and 1,000 feet of another pain clinic.  Hospital clinics would be exempt under the proposed ordinance.

The Jeffersonville city council is in the process of enacting similar regulations after controversy surrounding a pain management clinic that opened in July.  Residents near the clinic have voiced concerns over its potential to attract crime to the neighborhood.

And action on a statewide level could be coming, too. Indiana State Senator Ron Grooms announced plans in August to sponsor a bill that would require that owners of pain clinics be licensed physicians.