Legislation Would Create Tougher Penalties For Heroin Use, Trade

Dec 20, 2013

Credit Eric Molina, Wikimedia Commons

Attorney General Jack Conway and two Kentucky lawmakers are introducing a bill aimed at curbing the state’s growing heroin epidemic.

Sen. Katie Stine and Rep. John Tilley want to raise penalties for heroin traffickers, provide funding for anti-heroin education and expand Medicaid services to include treatment for opiate addiction.

The bill builds on a previous attempt by Stine to charge dealers with homicide in overdose deaths. She says that the new bill tries to focus as much on both sides of heroin use.

“The bill targets, principally, two groups: The trafficker, who needs to be run out of Kentucky or locked up; and the addict, who has broken the law, but who has created their own personal prison of addiction that is worse than any jail the state could design, and they need treatment,” she said.

Stine doesn't have a cost estimate for the bi-partisan legislation.

Conway says the number of heroin overdoses increased in Kentucky by 650 percent last year.