There’s a Drug Problem in Kentucky

Kentucky has seen a 296 percent increase in drug-overdose deaths from 2000 to 2010, a study by a research center at the University of Kentucky revealed. The main culprit behind these staggering numbers is prescription drugs by about at least 53 percent. The rate of overdose deaths rose from 6 per 100,000 Kentucky residents to 22.9 per 100,000 residents over the 11 years covered in the study. Terry Bunn, director of the research center and an author of the report indicated that Kentucky had the third-highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2010, up from fifth the year before. In 2011, the death rate is even higher although the official numbers are not in yet.

The drug problem in Kentucky is bad all over the state.

Eastern Kentucky appears to have higher numbers than Southern Kentucky does. Actually, Powell County led the state with an annual overdose death rate of 75.4 per 100,000 residents. The head of Operation UNITE, Karen Kelly, verified these findings. “There are people in Kentucky raising their great-grandchildren because two generations in some families have died from drug abuse,” Kelly said.

There were changes made in the law in 2012 that confronted the prescription-drug problem. These laws require greater use by doctors of the state’s prescription-drug tracking system and toughen rules on pain clinics. Ideally, they would like to shut down the “pill mills.” This is where corrupt doctors improperly prescribe painkillers and other drugs to people. Those clinics have been a key source of many more pills available for abuse.

There are many other charges involved with prescription drug abuse. In-patient hospital charges related to drug overdoses totaled $68.5 million in 2010. This was up from $14.3 million in 2000 with an additional $9.5 million in emergency-room charges. Most of the financial burden fell on taxpayers.

Most of the deaths that involved painkillers were OxyContin, Lortab and Roxicet. Followed by these were depressants such as Valium and Xanax. The highest rate of deaths in 2010 was among people 35 to 44 years old, with about 47 deaths per 100,000 residents.

Prescription medication is something you can recover from.

Around 1,200 calls come in per month from people seeking information about drug treatment and only around 65 are put into treatment per month. That alone speaks volumes. Sometimes the best way to recover from an addiction is to go out of state. Decision Point Center in Prescott, Arizona is a home away from home when it comes to substance abuse recovery. Remember in the these holidays we all need a second chance. Have a safe and wonderful holiday.