The varying forms of drug abuse have created challenges for both treatment and law enforcement professionals. Much attention across Kentucky in recent years has centered on a growing prescription drug abuse problem. State lawmakers have taken steps to crack down on improper pain clinics while also providing better communication within the medical profession about patients’ use of prescribed drugs. Michelle Lofwall (LAHF-wall) is a University of Kentucky psychiatrist who treats prescription drug users. She is beginning to see another alarm go off.
“I will say that I’m beginning to see more people coming in with not only the use of the prescription opioid pain killers, but also now.. heroin as it’s become more difficult for them to find the prescription opioid pills,”said Lofwall.
Access to a drug like heroin is another issue in the battle against addiction.
“The criminal world will bring us heroin if they know that there’s a demand for it…we’re close to places that do have significant heroin problems…we have…you know…Cincinnati just across our border..we’ve got Chicago…that’s only a six hour drive away…and Detroit as well,” added Lofwall.
Lofwall says many drug addicts are very interested in seeking treatment. She says there is a waiting list at the clinic where she works in Lexington.