City holds second reading of ‘suboxone clinic’ ordinance

A special-called meeting of the Middlesboro City Council was held Wednesday to have a second reading of the suboxone clinic ordinance.

The presence of these facilities, often dubbed “suboxone clinics,” is a point of controversy among communities hit hardest by the opioid crisis.

The ordinance states an outpatient drug or alcohol treatment clinic is a program or facility operated for the purpose of and specializing in the care, treatment and/or rehabilitation of people suffering with addictions or dependency to alcohol or controlled substances.

These facilities often distribute methadone, suboxone and other substances for said treatment.

Key highlights of the ordinance state that no person or business is permitted to administer or prescribe medication that is commonly used for the purpose of drug abuse or addiction within the corporate limits of the city within a 1,000-foot radius of any state-licensed operator, regulated school or daycare center for minors, public park or playground.

Also, no outpatient drug or alcohol treatment clinic shall be located within 1,000 feet of any property that is occupied by a school, daycare or any other facility for minors and public parks and playground.

In regards to the radius in which one clinic can orbit another, no outpatient drug or alcohol treatment clinic will be located within 2,500 feet of another outpatient drug and alcohol treatment clinic.

These clinics are not, according to this ordinance, state licensed hospitals.

The ordinance states that outpatient drug or alcohol treatment clinics do not include hospitals or programs consisting solely of support group activities without treatment by a licensed health practitioner, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other programs.

The second reading was met with no further questions from the guests of the meeting. Further development of this ordinance will continue.