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Final Drug Forum Held in Morehead

By: MacKenzie Bates Email
By: MacKenzie Bates Email

The fourth and final forum on prescription drug abuse in Eastern Kentucky was held in Morehead tonight

Officials with Operation UNITE say these suggestions are vital to end prescription drug abuse.

The forums were set up after Perry County Dr. Dennis Sandlin was gunned down at his clinic after police say he would not prescribe pain pills to a patient.

The Executive Director of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacists says this is a difficult puzzle to solve.

“Prescriptions are brought in from out state so it's very difficult for local pharmacists to know what's going on when they don't see it,” Mike Burleson says.

Operation UNITE's President says the prescription drug abuse problem in Eastern Kentucky cannot be solved by them alone.

“This is really a community problem where we need input from the medical professionals, the community members to gather all of that data,” Karen Engle says.

“It's not just the law enforcement, it's not just the health professionals, but it's the community as a whole,” Burleson says. “They need to get involved in helping out their own communities.”

Engle says the past three forums have provided officials with a lot of insight.

“We see the problem from different perspectives so putting that all together and realizing the breakdown in communication between the different organizations and medical professionals has really been a tremendous eye opener to us,” Engle says.

“We're fighting it on a day to day basis,” Rowan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Joe Kline says. “We're working almost around the clock. We've had deputies working overtime just trying to help slow this down.”

There will be a symposium for medical professionals on March 6th.

That's where they will discuss this problem further and try to find a solution to the problem that is prescription drug abuse.

The symposium will be held at the forum in Hazard next Saturday, March sixth from 9:00a.m.-4:00p.m.

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