drugs

Top Kentucky health leaders and lawmakers trying to end multistate prescription drug trafficking and abuse are meeting in Florida this week.  The National R-X Drug Abuse Summit runs from tomorrow until Thursday in Orlando.  The event is organized by the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group Operation UNITE.  It will feature remarks by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and U.S. “Drug Czar” R.

Gov. Beshear Joins Supporters of Drug Bill

Apr 6, 2012

Gov. Steve Beshear has joined a bipartisan group of state leaders to push for passage of a bill to curb prescription drug abuse. Lawmakers return to Frankfort next Thursday for the final day of the legislative session. Beshear said that gives lawmakers ample time to pass the bill. The legislation would put the attorney general's office in charge of the state's prescription monitoring system, known as KASPER, that can identify doctors who over prescribe painkillers.

Afternoon Round-Up 4/05/12

Apr 5, 2012
Derek Bridges / wikimedia commons

Today on NPR: Critics say the NYPD's aggressive stop-and-frisk tactics amount to widespread racial profiling, but supporters counter that it's one reason the city's crime rate is as low as it is. Now, with the city's stop-and-frisk numbers reaching record highs, state lawmakers are pushing to rein the practice in.

Around the Commonwealth:

Hopkinsville Men Convicted for Pill Trafficking

Apr 5, 2012
Babypat / wikimedia commons

Two Hopkinsville men will serve prison time for trafficking prescription drugs from Florida to Kentucky. Circuit Judge Andrew Self sentenced 24-year-old Cary Alder and 26-year-old Scotty Highsmith to ten and fifteen years respectively. The two men are suspected of transporting more than 3,000 Oxycodone pills by mail.  27-year-old Peter Nibert of Pasco County, Florida was also convicted in connection to the case.

Crittenden County Schools officials have updated their drug prevention policy by adding random K9 searches of the schools.  Board of Education members voted to change the current random drug testing policy this week. Director of Pupil Personnel Al Starnes says there were growing drug problems at the school despite random tests. The board hopes the K9 program will be a better deterrent. Starnes says,

IL Considers Drug Cuts

Mar 26, 2012

Illinois lawmakers looking for ways to cut expenses in the state’s Medicaid program may consider the big-ticket cost of prescription drugs as a tempting target. Prescriptions cost the Illinois Medicaid program more than $1 billion a year. Medicaid covers drugs for a wide variety of illnesses, from asthma to schizophrenia, for the poor and disabled. Legislators are looking at other states for ideas. Tennessee, for example, limits adults to five prescriptions each month.

A bill that would allow random drug testing of welfare recipients was the subject of legislative boycotts and hearings today.

House Bill 26 is sponsored by Republican representative Lonnie Napier, who says the bill does not unfairly target anyone and would help rid drug abuse from those who benefit from government programs.

The bill was never expected to come for a vote in committee, leading Napier’s fellow Republicans on the panel to boycott the meeting.

Afternoon Round-Up 3/5/12

Mar 5, 2012

The US 60/62 Mississippi River Bridge at Cairo will reopen tomorrow after being shut down for over a year.

Kentucky Politics:

House Bill 335 sponsored by state Representative Joni Jenkins would require drug and alcohol support to receive extra training to be licensed in that field.

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee has overwhelmingly passed two bills to overhaul the state's fight against drugs.

One bill deals with synthetic drugs. It would ban the manufacture of any drug that simulates an illegal substance or that contains certain chemical compounds.

The second bill is an overhaul of the KASPER system, which monitors prescription drugs. The bill puts KASPER under the Attorney General's office and requires the board of medical licensure to crack down on reports that prescriptions are being over prescribed.

Business owners in western Kentucky are expressing concern after a series of burglaries and robberies at pharmacies in the region.  Eddie Nickell, who owns Lyon Drugs in Eddyville, says burglars broke into the pharmacy in October and again in January.  Several pharmacies in the area have reported thefts or attempted thefts over the last few months.  Law enforcement authorities say the region is not alone; drug stores across the nation are reporting more thefts.  Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman Rusty Payne says pain medicine and stimulants are the most common medications taken.   K

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