The annual Kentucky Prosecutors Conference wrapped up today in Lexington.
The conference allowed prosecutors to share ideas with lawmakers on how to combat the Commonwealth’s prevalent legal issues, such as a juvenile crime rate brought upon by an explosion in synthetic drug abuse.
Christian County Attorney Mike Foster appealed for increased personnel funding.
Kentucky students are being recruited to spread the message about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
State Attorney General Jack Conway announced yesterday the start of a public service announcement contest for middle and high school students. As part of the competition, Kentucky students will produce a 30-second video showing the perils of prescription drug abuse.
Beginning today Tennessee doctors prescribing painkillers and other controlled substances are required to check their patients' prescription history to prevent abuse and doctor shopping.
The new requirement signed into law last year put doctors on the front line of Tennessee's battle with some of the nation's highest prescription drug abuse rates. The state's Controlled Substance Monitoring Database has been around since 2006 and now clinicians prescribing any opioid or benzodiazepine are required to check that database first.
Tennessee officials hope a new law requiring doctors to check a database before prescribing certain drugs will help curb addiction and prevent deaths. The state's controlled substances monitoring database has been around for several years, but its use has not been mandatory. Starting Jan. 1, doctors and others who prescribe drugs must register with the database. They will have to start checking it every time they prescribe certain powerful drugs, with limited exceptions starting April 1.
Kentucky officials say curtailing prescription-pill abuse will suffer a major setback if a wave of generic painkillers reaches the market without safeguards. OxyContin and Opana ER patents are set to expire next year allowing for generic versions of the powerful drugs. The brand-name painkillers were popular sources for abusers until tamper-resistant formulas were added.
An Illinois medicine-monitoring program joins a national data-sharing network to further prevent prescription drug abuse. The Department of Human Services is linking its prescription monitoring program to a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy network. By joining the national network, Human Services will be able to better identify people who have been issued multiple prescriptions across state lines.
While Governor Steve Beshear is touting Kentucky’s new prescription drug abuse law, critics complain that the law's negative effects are being ignored. House Bill 1 requires doctors to meet stringent medical standards before prescribing controlled substances and mandates use of the KASPER drug tracking system.