TAVARES — Lake County commissioners are expected to join the growing number of local governments seeking to ban pain-management clinics, some of which appear to be little more than "pill mills." Commissioners will propose a yearlong moratorium at their meeting Tuesday.
A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for March1.
The proposed restrictions, aimed at curbing an illegal-prescription-drug trade, mirror similar laws enacted recently by Orange and Seminole and forbid clinics from operating as "cash-only" businesses.
"We fully support this ordinance and feel it is necessary to stop any further pain clinics from opening until the Legislature can impose regulations," Lake sheriff's Sgt. Jim Vachon said.
More than 800 pain clinics operate in Florida — 13 are in Lake, according to the state Department of Health. Law-enforcement officials say lax regulations have allowed some clinic operators to dole out painkillers and sedatives to transient patients without performing a thorough exam or asking questions.
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