Once More Unto the Breach
The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy just released their 2012 Overdose Fatality Report. Most significantly, they reported a 2% drop in drug overdose deaths in 2012. This should be must reading for employers/carriers and industry stakeholders who are concerned about the cost and the abuse of legal pharmaceuticals and illegal narcotics.
One of the most revealing illustrations is the statewide analysis of drug frequency detected in the blood of overdose victims.
- Alprazolam (Xanax) 41%
- Morphine 32%
- Hydrocodone 26%
- Oxycodone 24%
- Heroin 20%
- Oxymorphone 18%
- Methadone 14%
Governor Steve Beshear’s office is pointing to the passage of the “Pill Mill” Bill for its positive impact on the decline of Kentucky drug deaths. Some of the key points where House Bill 1 has had an effect include :
- Closure of 20 non-physician owned pain management facilities;
- Triple the prescribers of controlled substances using KASPER;
- Increased doctor licensure discipline for prescribing violations.
Unfortunately, post HB1 the rise of heroin is very disturbing, and large parts of Eastern Kentucky have significant abuse levels compared to their population.
Much work remains to be done, and industry experts look for new legislation and enhanced reform in the next session. We will keep you posted.
But for now, we salute the hard work of Van Ingram, Executive Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, and other enforcement and regulation professionals as they enter the breach of this never-ending war on drugs.
Call us. We can do better.
Posted in OMCA