Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway, House Speaker Greg Stumbo Warn Students in Floyd County about Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners spoke to hundreds of students at Prestonsburg High School in Floyd County today about the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse. Approximately 300 freshmen and sophomores attended the prevention and awareness program hosted by General Conway and House Speaker Greg Stumbo.
“We are in danger of losing a whole generation of kids to prescription pill abuse,” said General Conway. “That’s why I am going to schools across Kentucky to warn kids that they are putting their lives and futures at risk by taking pills that are not prescribed to them.”
Non-medical use or abuse of prescription drugs is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, according to Office of National Drug Control Policy. In Kentucky, prescription drug overdose deaths have more than doubled from 403 in 2000 to nearly 980 in 2009. Today, there are more overdose deaths in the Commonwealth than traffic fatalities.
“When I was Attorney General, I saw first-hand just how prevalent prescription drug abuse was becoming across our state. That is why I did all I could to prevent as many new cases as possible, beginning with those who are most at-risk of becoming addicts due to peer pressure,” said House Speaker Stumbo. “Programs like General Conway’s Keep Kentucky Kids Safe initiative play an important role in keeping our children from traveling down what is a dead-end road. I’m pleased that this program is reaching schools in my hometown and across the Commonwealth.”
Today’s program is part of a statewide initiative General Conway launched last fall with the Kentucky Justice Cabinet and its Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and mothers who lost their daughters to prescription drug overdoses, Lynn Kissick and Dr. Karen Shay.
General Conway next visits Owensboro High School on May 10 and Bowling Green Jr. High on May 11.
With easy access to prescription medications, General Conway and his partners are urging parents to monitor and secure prescription pills in their homes and safely dispose of old or unneeded pills by utilizing pill collection sites and participating in national prescription drug “take-back” days. The next “take-back” initiative is on April 30, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. A collection site will be located at the Attorney General’s Prestonsburg Office at 361 N. Lake Dr.
Despite budget cuts of roughly 30%, General Conway has increased investigations into illegal prescription drug diversion, doctor shopping, overprescribing physicians and illegal out-of-state pharmacies through creation of Kentucky’s only statewide Prescription Drug Diversion Task Force. Launched in 2009 with a $50,000 grant from NADDI, the task force worked closely with Operation UNITE and other agencies in the largest prescription drug round-up in Kentucky’s history. Both the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department and Prestonsburg Police Department have officers assigned to General Conway’s statewide task force.
In February 2011, General Conway’s Drug Diversion Task Force executed search warrants at two pain clinics and two residences in Johnson County as part of a year-long investigation into overprescribing physicians.
For more information on General Conway’s efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, please visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse