Knott County is cracking down on the abuse of prescription pills. The Knott County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance banning all pain clinics in the county. Officials say they are trying to prevent the wholesale distribution of drugs by people who should not being doing it.
Knott County drug officials say the mass distribution of prescription meds has become an epidemic.
"When you think of pain clinics, you think of everyone in Kentucky going to a different state and you don't necessarily think about the fact that they're right in your community," said Lola Patterson, the director of the Knott Drug Abuse Council.
To prevent this from happening in Knott County, the fiscal court passed an ordinance banning pain clinics.
"There are pain clinics that are legitimate and do have physicians in there and we're not trying to make people leery of everything and not treat their pain," said Patterson.
She says most pain clinics are not legitimate. Patterson also says people need to pay attention to their surroundings and report what they see.
"if you see 25 people come out in an hour and a half and it all appears that they have medication and they're disoriented, that's a pretty good indication that that's a pill mill and not a legitimate pain clinic."
Officials say other indicators are only accepting cash for payment, if no physician is present and if the clinic isn't open for anything else but handing out pain medication.
"If everybody in the community can pull together, I think this is something that can really make a huge difference in putting our foot down and saying enough is enough," Patterson explained.
The drug council will work with police to enforce the ordinance. If a pain clinic is caught, one of the punishments is a five thousand dollar fine per day of operation. This ordinance went into effect on January first.