FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 26, 2012) – Attorney General Jack Conway and his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners announced Wednesday the launch of a new initiative to warn Kentuckians about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and to remind the public of the importance of monitoring, securing and safely disposing of unneeded prescription pills.
“We are doing everything we can to warn Kentuckians about the deadly consequences of prescription drug abuse to ensure that we don’t lose another generation to this scourge,” General Conway said. “I appreciate the assistance we have received from Lamar, NADDI and our other partners as we launch this new awareness effort across the Commonwealth.”
The non-medical use or abuse of prescription pills is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. With controlled-substance prescriptions on the rise in 118 of the state’s 120 counties, Kentucky is the fourth most medicated state in the country, according to Forbes Magazine. Last year, medical professionals in Kentucky prescribed 219 million doses of hydrocodone. That’s 50 doses for every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth.
Over the past decade, prescription drug overdose deaths have doubled, rising to nearly 1,000 a year. More people in Kentucky are dying from overdoses than traffic accidents.
Keep Kentucky Kids Safe billboards are already on display at multiple locations in Lexington and will appear in Danville, Frankfort, Somerset, Winchester, Morehead, London, Liberty, Louisville, Richmond, Paducah, Owensboro and Covington in the coming weeks.
For more information on General Conway’s drug diversion efforts and the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, please visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse.htm.