Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway spoke to a committee in Washington D.C. on Mar. 1 about the prescription pill problem in the bluegrass.
Conway talked about a public education initiative and his prescription drug task force which is the first in the state.
He addressed the need for prescription drug monitoring programs in all 50 states and additional federal grants for states to ensure that all of the programs can share data. Conway said the drug problem is not getting better.
“I will go in front of middle schoolers, 13 and 14-year-olds and ask ‘how many of you have ever taken prescription drugs for a purpose not listed on the bottle?’” said Conway.
“About 70 to 80 percent of the hands go up and then I ask the question, ‘how many of you think prescription drugs are easy to get?’ and about 70 to 80 percent of the hands go up.” Conway added.
Conway said his concluding question to the middle and high school students demonstrates the problem.
“Then I conclude by asking, ‘how many of your parents lock up their medicine cabinets?’ and all of the hands in the room go down,” said Conway.
“This is an addiction that I fear that is starting in the homes.”
Conway also discussed efforts to stop so-called pill mills in Kentucky. Other legislators and lawmakers have been adamant about trying to battle this problem as well.