'About Kentucky' Commentary
10/11/2013 - Prescription Drugs
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, Interview and Interrogation, and Case Management.
Van is a frequent speaker on a variety of substance abuse issues including prescription drug abuse trends, the emerging synthetic drug problem, methamphetamine, the electronic monitoring PSE sales as well as legislative initiatives concerning substance abuse issues. Van regularly presents to numerous groups and national organizations on all these topics.
||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.
Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure 201 KAR 9:260 Summary
KMA Summary of Controlled Substance Regulations
Please click below to view House Bill 1 passed by the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly:
Summary of House Bill 1
||The Emerging Heroin Epidemic
New Public Service Announcement Warns Parents about Signs of Heroin Abuse
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.
"This short PSA sends an important message to parents and teens across Kentucky," General Conway said. "Don't overlook the signs of heroin use. Missing prescription pills, valuables and lost appetite are all signs that your child may be abusing heroin, prescription pills or other illicit drugs. Ignoring the signs could mean a lifetime of heartache."
The PSA, produced by the Nassau County, NY District Attorney's Office, being distributed to television stations across Kentucky along with other drug abuse prevention videos, including the winning Keep Kentucky Kids Safe prescription drug abuse prevention PSA produced by members of the Clark County High School ASAP Youth Network http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbZL75z3iOo .
While prescription drug abuse has risen, so too has heroin abuse. Heroin samples collected and analyzed by the Kentucky State Police lab jumped 211 percent from 2010 to 2012. The lab analyzed and confirmed 433 heroin submissions in 2010 compared to 1,349 in 2012.
"The misuse of prescription medications is often a stepping stone to the abuse of illicit drugs like Heroin," said Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. "Tamper-proof formulations of popular opioids have also contributed to a resurgence of Heroin abuse and it's cheaper and more readily available."
Kentucky is the fourth most medicated state in the country, and it has the sixth highest rate of overdose deaths. More than 1,000 Kentuckians die each year from prescription drug overdoses.
Warning Signs of Drug Abuse:
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Inability to sleep, fatigue
Slowed or staggering walk
Needle marks of lower arm, leg or bottom of feet
Change in overall attitude/personality
Declining academic performance
Sudden oversensitivity, moodiness
Unexplained need for money
If your child is abusing heroin, prescription drugs or another illicit substance, visit http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse or http://odcp.ky.gov to find important information and resources. Parents can also call a toll-free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373).
||National Medicine Abuse Action Campaign