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Van Ingram, Executive Director


Van Ingram is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.  Van joined ODCP in November 2004, shortly after it was created with the mission of coordinating Kentucky’s substance abuse efforts in enforcement, treatment and prevention/education.

Van served with the Maysville Kentucky Police Department for more than 23 years, the last six as Chief of Police.  He is a former President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, and was named “Kentucky Chief of the Year” in 2001.  He is the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement, as well as, the Melvin Shein Award for distinguished service to Kentucky law enforcement.

Van is a certified law enforcement instructor and has trained officers across the state on a variety of topics, including community oriented policing, case management, and “Kentucky Substance Abuse Issues” for Chiefs, Sheriff’s and command staff. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of substance abuse issues both in Kentucky and nationally.

To contact Van, you can do so by emailing him at Van.Ingram@ky.gov

2013 KY ODCP Overdose Fatality Report


2013 Overdose Fatality Report


2013 Overdose Statistics by County


Substance abuse, particularly the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, is one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky. Over the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who die from drug overdoses has steadily climbed to more than 1,000 each year, exacting a devastating toll on families, communities, social services and economic stability and growth.

In an effort to reverse the trend, the Commonwealth has implemented a number of program and policy initiatives, including but not limited to the statewide use of prescription drug monitoring programs, expanded availability of substance abuse treatment opportunities, and the enactment of laws (House Bill 1 from the 2012 Special Session and House Bill 217 from the 2013 Regular Session) specifically addressing the availablity of prescription medications.

HB 1 mandates that the Office of Drug Control Policy, in cooperation with the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office, prepare and publish an annual public report to the Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet to include:

(1) The number of drug-related deaths;

(2) The decedent's age, race, and gender but not his or her name or address;

(3) The counties in which those deaths occurred;

(4) The scientific, trade, or generic names of the drugs involved; and

(5) The method by which the drugs were obtained, when available.

This report was compiled utilizing data from the Kentucky Medical Examiners Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention & Research Council, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics.

Highlights of the 2013 findings include:

· Kentucky overdose fatalities stayed relatively steady in 2013. Overdose deaths in Kentucky regardless of the residency of the decedent numbered 1007 as tabulated by July 2014, compared to 1004 overdose deaths counted in the 2012 report.

· Autopsied overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin increased. Of the 722 deaths autopsied by the Kentucky Medical Examiner last year that were determined to be from a drug overdose, 230, or 31.9 percent, were attributed to heroin, compared to 143, or 19.6 percent, in 2012.

· Jefferson County had the most overdose deaths of any county, with 191.

· The largest increase in overdose fatalities occurred in Fayette County, with 86 deaths in 2013 compared to 74 in 2012.

· The largest decrease occurred in Campbell County, with 22 fewer fatalities in 2013 than 2012 (33 versus 55, respectively). Other counties with significant declines in 2013 include Pike (12 fewer), Clark (10 fewer), and Madison (10 fewer).

· Overdose deaths in many Eastern Kentucky counties, when compared by 100,000 population, 2013 data, showed high rates. The top 6 counties by overdose deaths per 100,000 people for 2013 are:

Bell County 93.2 per 100,000

Clinton County 49.3 per 100,000

Breathitt County 44.3 per 100,000

Floyd County 43.9 per 100,000

Perry County 42.8 per 100,00

Harlan 42.1 per 100,000


The Heroin Epidemic

There's a new drug of choice in

Kentucky: Heroin.


Heroin has had a resurgence in our nation and Kentucky is no exception. Especially hit hard have been Northern Kentucky, Louisville, and Lexington raising fears that a heroin scourge will soon ravage the entire Commonwealth.

Heroin – known by the nicknames such as Black Tar, Big H. Dog, Horse, and Puppy Chow, is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin can be injected, smoked in a water pipe, inhaled as smoke through a straw, or snorted as powder through the nose.

Police in Louisville and the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati said they began seeing more heroin as early as four years ago, but it was in the last 12 months that heroin had increased dramatically.

A key driver behind the uptick in heroin abuse was the reformulation of two widely abused prescription pain drugs, making them harder to crush and snort. Drug manufacturers reformulated OxyContin in 2010 and Opana in 2011.

A growing number of young people who began abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy. The reason may come down to basic economics: illegally obtained prescription pain killers have become more expensive and harder to get, while the price and difficulty in obtaining heroin have decreased. An 80 mg OxyContin pill runs between $60 to $100 on the street. Heroin costs about $9 a dose. Even among heavy heroin abusers, a day’s worth of the drug is cheaper than a couple hits of Oxy.

To impact the problem, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy will continue to work towards increased public education, increased access to treatment, enhanced penalties for major traffickers, and greater access to naloxone.

[1] As of the date of this report the 2013 final overdose death statistics were not yet available.

Attorney General Jack Conway and the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy have jointly released a public service announcement (PSA) to increase awareness of heroin abuse among young people and to warn their parents of the signs.

The 30-second PSA, http://youtu.be/leznM7P2O0g, depicts a young woman in a morgue who describes how easy it has been to hide her heroin habit from her parents—that is until she becomes an overdose victim.

2013 The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study


2013 The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study

The 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, reports on the attitudes and behavior of teens and parents at a significant time in our culture's relationship with drugs and substance abuse.

Through this report, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids informs healthcare professionals, educators, community leaders, the news media, and families about current patterns in adolescent use and misuse of drugs and alcohol, including marijuana, performance -enhancing substances and prescription medicine.

Although the "drug landscape" is changing for parents and teens alike, its important to note that parents still have considerable influence on their teens' decision.

Key Marijuana Findings:

· Almost half of teens (44 percent) report using marijuana at least once within their lifetime; more than one in three (36 percent) report using in the past year; one in four (24 percent) report using within the past month; and 7 percent report using at least 20 times within the past month. These levels have remained basically flat over the past five years.

· More than four in ten teens (41 percent) who have used marijuana started doing so before the age of 15. This is worrisome considering that those who initiate marijuana use at a younger age are more likely to use marijuana – as well as other substances – more frequently than those who begin using at an older age.

· Hispanic and African American teens are also more likely to report using marijuana than their Caucasian counterparts (with 52 percent, 54 percent, and 39 percent indicating use, respectively).

Key Prescription Drug Abuse & Over-The-Counter Cough Medicine Findings:

· Misuse and abuse of prescription medicine continues to be the third most prevalent drug abuse behavior among teens, following use of marijuana and alcohol. Almost one in four teens (23 percent) reports abusing or misusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, and one in six (16 percent) reports doing so within the past year (as depicted below). In addition, Hispanic and African-American teens are more likely to report misusing or abusing prescription drugs compared to their Caucasian counterparts (with 27 percent, 29 percent, and 20 percent indicating use, respectively).

· One notable exception was over-the-counter cough medicine. Teens reported an increase in lifetime ("ever tried") use of OTC cough medicine to get high – from 12 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2013. Past year and past month usage was unchanged.

Key Alcohol Findings:

· The new PATS data show that fewer teens report drinking alcohol in the past year or past month. Past-year alcohol use has declined significantly versus last year, from 57 percent in 2012 to 51 percent in 2013, and past-month alcohol use has declined gradually but significantly from 39 percent in 2009 to 35 percent in 2013.


I Am the Face of Addiction

A powerful PSA by the students of The Performer's Academy on the prescription drug and heroin epidemic in this country. Every 19 minutes we lose one life to an rx overdose. The face of today's heroin addict is quite different from years ago. The national age of overdosing is between 18-25 years of age. Please get informed.

HB217 Makes Common Sense Improvements to House Bill 1


Governor Steve Beshear signed into law House Bill 217 on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, which makes some practical improvements to last year's landmark prescription drug abuse legislation.
House Bill 217 includes the following changes:
•modifies the diagnostic and treatment protocols for controlled substance prescribing, particularly to accommodate patients with acute pain management needs, such as end-stage cancer care;
•allows hospitals and long-term care facilities to have accounts for KASPER, the state’s online prescription drug monitoring program;
•clarifies the educational requirements for certain pain management facility employees;
•clarifies the acceptable qualifications for a physician owner or medical director of a pain management clinic; and
•makes the criminal record check required for licensure of persons prescribing or dispensing controlled substances a law, rather than regulation.

Impacts of HB1: In the last six months since HB1 took effect, total doses of all controlled substances dropped 10.4 percent from the same time period a year earlier. Prescribed doses of some of the most-abused drugs have also fallen
•Hydrocodone: down 11.8 percent;
•Oxycodone: down 11.8 percent;
•Oxymorphone (Opana): down 45.5 percent; and
•Alprazolam (Xanax): down 14.5 percent.
The Office of Inspector General identified 44 facilities as pain management clinics in 2012. Nineteen of them have closed or have discontinued providing pain management services – including 11 that shut down since HB1’s implementation. Another four have received cease and desist letters from the OIG and are in the process of closing.
HB1 expanded the KASPER system, the state’s prescription monitoring system, by requiring all prescription providers of controlled substances to register. Since implementation, registered accounts have nearly tripled.
Prior to HB1, KASPER provided less than 3,000 reports daily. Now, providers request approximately 18,000 reports each day. The vast majority of those reports – 93 percent – are processed in less than fifteen seconds.


Upcoming Meetings, Trainings & Conferences

2014 KY-ASAP State Board Meeting Dates:

August 21, 2014

November 20, 2014

All meetings will begin at 11 a.m. and will be held in the First Floor Conference Room of the Justice and Public Safety Building, 125 Holmes Street, Frankfort.



Marcus Nashelsky,MD, Medical Examiner

Last Updated 7/31/2014
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