August 20, 2014

The Resurgence of Heroin

I’ve been fighting prescription drug abuse since my first day as your Attorney General, and our Commonwealth has been battling this issue for almost two decades. In Kentucky, more people die from prescription drug overdoses than car accidents, and Kentucky was the third or fourth most medicated state in the country.

 
This addiction to painkillers started in Eastern Kentucky in the 1990s. At the time, Oxycontin was referred to as “hillbilly heroin” because it produced a similar high. Now, the addiction has spread to every corner of our state. It has touched almost every Kentucky family, including my own. This epidemic shatters families and fuels crime. It has also fueled a resurgence of heroin.
 
To address the prescription pill epidemic, my office crafted legislation that is now a national model to shut down about half of Kentucky’s pain clinics. Doctors are now being educated about prescribing standards for opiate painkillers, and the state is yanking the licenses of physicians who are handing out pills like they are candy.
 
I also created Kentucky’s first statewide prescription drug task force to investigate those who are overprescribing and those who are doctor shopping. Our office participated in the largest drug bust in this state’s history. I’ve worked in a bipartisan fashion with my Republican counterpart in Florida to shut down the pipeline of prescription pills that was flowing in to Kentucky from pain clinics in her state. We have also worked together to co-chair the National Association of Attorneys General Substance Abuse Committee.
 
And I’ve traveled our Commonwealth with parents who’ve lost their children to prescription drug overdoses to educate young people about the dangers of abuse. To date, we’ve educated more than 42,000 students, parents and teachers about the dangers of opiate addiction and how the addiction many times starts in the homes in our medicine cabinets. That’s why I encourage all parents to throw away or lock up their unused prescription medications. 
 
Our efforts have made a difference. For the first time, painkiller prescriptions are down in Kentucky and the state’s abuse numbers are below the national average. But as it’s become more difficult to find overprescribing physicians, as the price of pills has increased on the streets, and as the manufacturers have created tamper-resistant medications, we’ve seen an increase in the use of heroin because it’s easier and cheaper to obtain.
 
Heroin is a cousin to prescription pain pills. They are both opiates and it’s not a stretch to call painkillers “heroin pills.” In fact, just Google “Bayer and heroin,” and you’ll find that the pharmaceutical company actually sold heroin pills for pain in the late 1800s, and it sparked a heroin epidemic in this country. 
 
During the last legislative session, Rep. John Tilley, Sen. Katie Stine and I sponsored legislation that would increase the penalties for heroin trafficking, make dealers eligible for murder charges, and increase access to opiate addiction counseling. The bill got caught up in last-minute horse trading and never advanced.
 
I’ve always said we cannot arrest our way out of this opiate addiction problem. We must increase access to treatment. Kentucky only has about one-tenth of the treatment beds it needs. When I recently settled two cases against pharmaceutical companies for $32 million, I knew I wanted those companies to help clean up some of the mess they created. That money is now being used throughout Kentucky to expand substance abuse treatment and treatment for addiction.
 
A new Recovery Kentucky treatment center will soon be completed near Ashland, Ky. and hundreds of Kentuckians will have the opportunity to benefit from treatment scholarships and drug-free housing. The money will also help substance abuse treatment centers for pregnant or parenting women, such as Chrysalis House in Lexington and Independence House in Corbin.
 
In addition, approximately $20 million from the settlement fund has been allocated for KY Kids Recovery, a grant program that will fund comprehensive juvenile substance abuse treatment programs, both expanding treatment beds at existing facilities and creating new juvenile treatment programs. We recently announced the recipients of those grants. This initiative is a dream I’ve had for almost seven years, and I’m so thankful it is now a reality.
 
I firmly believe this historic investment will save lives in Kentucky, and we must continue investing in education and treatment. I know that working together, we can make Kentucky a safer place to live, work and raise our families. 
 
Tagged: Guest Commentary |

We can do better

By Dusty393
CONWAY COVER-UP: MEDIA IGNORES ADMITTED OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE Paul Joseph Watson & Kurt Nimmo Infowars.com October 27, 2010 Conway Cover Up: Media Ignores Admitted Obstruction Of Justice conway While hyperventilating over the Lauren Valle stomping incident, the corporate media has ignored a far bigger scandal swirling around the Kentucky Senate race – the fact that financial contributors to Jack Conway’s campaign and Conway himself tipped off Conway’s brother to the fact that he was being investigated for trafficking drugs in an admitted obstruction of justice. The Kentucky Courier-Journal, which has favored Conway over Rand Paul in the course of the Senatorial race, hid the bombshell story behind a relatively tame headline this past weekend, presumably in a bid to protect Jack Conway from the blowback of the astounding revelations contained in the five page report written by R.G. Dunlop. The nitty gritty of the issue runs like this – Matthew C. Conway, prosecutor and brother of Jack Conway, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator from Kentucky, was under investigation by the Louisville Metro Police for alleged drug use and drug trafficking. Two narcotics detectives involved in the case perverted the course of justice by tipping off Conway to the fact that he was under investigation. At least three narcotics officers are now under internal investigation for “policy violations”. After hearing detectives discussing the case in a restaurant, a Conway campaign supporter then also related the issue to Jack Conway, who in turn tipped off his brother. “When investigators learned of the leaks and interrogated the two detectives and the prosecutor last March, all three initially gave false or misleading statements about what happened, those records show. The statements of Matthew C. Conway, the prosecutor, were made under oath,” reports the Courier-Journal. In August of this year, Jefferson County Attorney Michael O’Connell made the decision not to prosecute Matthew Conway. O’Connell is a financial supporter of Jack Conway’s Senate campaign. Commonwealth’s Attorney David Stengel also dismissed the drug trafficking allegations, without revealing why investigators targeted Conway in the first place. Like O’Connell, Stengel was a supporter and a financial contributor to Jack Conway’s Senate campaign. “According to Fec.gov, Mr. David Stengel has donated $500 to Jack Conway’s campaign in the past, vested interest? Do we really want a former Jack Conway donor overlooking this? Really?” asks the Capitalist Banner blog. “Alex Pappas of the Daily Caller reported that the Democrat’s campaign did not reply to an e-mail “seeking elaboration Saturday as to whether Conway, as attorney general, took any steps to involve himself in the investigation,” points out the American Spectator. Louisville attorney Scott Roby is also a Conway supporter. Roby told Matthew Conway that the cops were investigating him for either drug use or trafficking, thus allowing him to avoid a police raid. LMPD Detective Scott Wilson had told Roby about the investigation. Conway and Wilson both attended St. Xavier High School at about the same time and are longtime acquaintances, according to the newspaper. Scott Roby donated $1250 to the Conway campaign. But it gets worse. It turns out that a Jack Conway supporter, businessman Charles Alexander, was the man who overheard cops talking about the Matthew Conway case in a downtown Louisville restaurant. The narcotics detectives described Matthew Conway as “dirty” (corrupt). Alexander called Jack Conway and informed him of the overheard conversation. “According to Fec.gov, Charles Alexander is a $2400 donor to Jack Conway and a $4600 donor to Barack Obama, so there is little doubt Mr. Alexander was concerned about the troubling allegations,” notes CapitalistBanner.com. Jack Conway and his supporters are involved in a cover-up and an attempt to obstruct justice, but this does not seem to be on the corporate media’s radar screen. Instead, we are harangued with absurd stories about Rand Paul, Aqua Buddha, and a fraternity prank invented by an anonymous woman. Jack Conway is involved in a brazen attempt to cover-up a police investigation of his brother. Supporters of his political campaign facilitated obscuration of justice. Is this the sort of man the people of Kentucky want representing them in Washington? In the name of objective journalism and fairness, the corporate media needs to cover this story immediately instead of inventing new ways to tear down the Rand Paul campaign. Many disturbing issues remain unanswered regarding the involvement of Jack Conway and his supporters in the story. Thomas McAdam summarizes some of the key questions. 1. What was the nature of the evidence known to the narcs that prompted the investigation of Matt Conway? 2. Was any political pressure used to pull the detectives away from investigating the brother of Kentucky’s Attorney General? 3. When and how did LMPD Chief Robert White involve himself in the investigation? 4. When Matt Conway resigned from the Jefferson County attorney’s office in 2008, what was the status of the criminal investigation into his alleged drug involvement, and what did Jefferson County Mike O’Connell know about it. 5. What did Commonwealth’s Attorney David Stengel know, and when did he know it? 6. Was the meeting at Jack Conway’s house, where he brought in high-powered criminal defense attorney Bart Adams, the only involvement by the Attorney General in this matter? 7. It seems incredible that O’Connell, Stengel, and White could be involved in an elaborate cover-up to protect a drug dealer. Shouldn’t the Conways come forward and shed some light on this affair, thereby dispelling any imputation of misconduct on the part of innocent law enforcement officials? Fresh food that lasts from eFoods Direct (Ad) 8. How long has reporter Dunlap been working on this story, and did the timing of its publication have anything to due with the upcoming election? — Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.