Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's Communications Office
Final Community Drug Forum Set for February 22

Press Release Date:  Thursday, February 18, 2010  
Contact Information:  Valeria Cummings
Eric Duncan

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The final in a series of community forums designed to address growing prescription drug abuse issues, including substance abuse-related crimes, healthcare provider safety and treatment and prevention programs, will be held on Monday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Carl D. Perkins Community Center, Morehead, Ky.

The forums were organized in response to the December 2009 shooting death of Dr. Dennis Sandlin. Hundreds of people from across eastern Kentucky have turned out for the first three forums to discuss their concerns and offer suggestions and recommendations on ways to combat the problems they see in their communities. 

“Representatives of my office and I have listened to physicians, those who work in the medical community, law enforcement, and private citizens talk first hand about what they have seen, their fears and concerns,” said Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo.  “Once we conduct this final forum we will begin shifting our focus to the task of putting some of the recommendations we’ve heard into action.”

Members of Operation UNITE and members from the Office of Drug Control Policy have played an active role in the forums.  Each group contributed their own insights and first hand knowledge of the state’s drug problem and what is being done to combat it.  They’ve also talked about ways to get the medical community more involved in the problem.

“It is UNITE’s hope that the medical community will become leaders in combating the scourge of prescription drug abuse in our region,” said Karen Engle, president/CEO of Operation UNITE.  “We know there are doctors like Lt. Gov. Mongiardo that want to help fight this problem and we’re glad they are taking an active role in these forums.”

Suggestions made in all the forums will be presented during a symposium for medical professionals and others interested in the drug problem on March 6, 2010 at the Hal Rogers Center in Hazard.  For more information go to

Those participating in the forums include representatives from Operation UNITE, the Kentucky Justice Cabinet’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Law Enforcement, the Kentucky Pharmacist Association, the Kentucky Hospital Association, Kentucky legislators and physicians and Danielle Sandlin, daughter of Dr. Dennis Sandlin.