WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Prescription Drug Abuse Causing More Suicides, Crime

By: Mark Kennedy Email
By: Mark Kennedy Email

In the wake of the shooting in Eastern Kentucky sparked by the refusal of prescription drugs to a patient, officials are saying it's a sign of the times.

Scott county coroner John Goble says he has seen a dramatic increase in overdoses and suicides because of prescription drugs. He says he is seeing the abuse in younger people and that's most concerning.

Lexington police commander Ken Armstrong says they are seeing an increase in cases related to prescription drugs. Armstrong says crimes such as theft, burglary and car break-ins often times are people looking for painkillers.

The numbers are staggering too, overdose has become the 2nd highest cause of accidental death behind car crashes. Kentucky is first in the nation for people using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.

Goble says he sees it getting worse before it gets better because drugs such as methadone, xanax and oxycodone are easily accessible. Armstrong admits prescription drug cases are much more difficult to solve because they take more time and unlike traditional drugs where if someone has it, it is illegal, there are a number of reasons someone could have prescription drugs, legal or illegal.


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