Prescription Drug Abuse Forums Continue

By: MacKenzie Bates Email
By: MacKenzie Bates Email

The second in a series of community forums about the issue was held tonight at Pikeville Medical Center.

Many ideas about fixing this ongoing problem were discussed tonight.

The daughter of Doctor Dennis Sandlin, who was gunned down last year at his Perry County Clinic, was among those who voiced their opinions.

Many people had their own ideas about how to end the drug problem in eastern Kentucky.

‘When these people in the community have the problem, deal with the problem everyday you get some great ideas about how to apply what you know about it,” Dr. William T. Fannin with PMC says.

One person providing suggestions was Danielle Sandlin.

She's the daughter of Doctor Dennis Sandlin, who was allegedly shot and killed at his clinic by John C. Combs, after he would not give him pills.

“This is not a witch hunt out there for those who abuse drugs,” Danielle Sandlin says. “My father was a big advocate on helping people seek treatment.”

One idea is to partner with other states to help recognize constant drug abusers.

“I think that would be an important thing to do considering we do have people who go in to other state to get their prescriptions,” Danielle Sandlin says.

Many panelists at the forum believe agencies need to work closer together to end drug abuse in eastern Kentucky.

“The way we're doing things aren't necessarily working so we're always keeping our minds open for new ideas and new ways to assist each other to solve this monster problem,” Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE says.

“Everybody's reinventing the wheel,” Fannin says. “But if you pull your resources and communicate you can come up with a plan that's going to be a lot more powerful than anything you can do individually.”

Sandlin says it will take everyone coming together to fight this problem.

“Call your local police department if you feel like there's drug activity,” Danielle Sandlin says. “Get your relatives help if they have issues with drugs just stand up and take your community back”

There are two more forums in this series. One will be in Pineville in two weeks before they wrap up in Morehead.

John Combs, the man accused of killing doctor Sandlin was indicted last week on murder, burglary and other charges.

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