Blogs Articles Organizations Biography Jack's Book Contact Information Links

Navigation: SOS Sisson > Life Ethics Blog

Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.


Prescription drug abuse may make a good story — but it's a killer, according to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.
He should know. When the hit cable TV show "Justified" was in development he sat down with the writers and helped steer them in the right direction.
He was running for U.S. Senate at the time and raising money in Santa Monica, Calif., where he met Sarah Timberman, one of the executive producers of the FX series "Justified," the third season of which is currently winding down. Their conversation went something like this, according to Conway, who visited the Tri-county area Monday to talk about prescription drug abuse.
"Naturally you're talking a lot about the prescription pill epidemic, right?" he asked.
"What are you talking about?" Timberman replied. "We thought the big drug problem would have been heroin."
"No it's prescription pills. You've got people who have hijacked FedEx trucks and everything in eastern Kentucky. We've got pharmacists in eastern Kentucky who are behind bullet-proof glass."
That got her attention, and she asked him to allow her writers to pick his brains, which is how he wound up in "this huge conference room with a dozen people. I sat there for 45 minutes to an hour and answered questions about crime in eastern Kentucky. About what it looks like to go into a deep mine. About the prescription pill epidemic. They were taking copious notes. I gave them a total primer on crime in eastern Kentucky. And then this show comes on and it's a huge hit."
While it may make an entertaining story, the drugs are no joke, which is what he told students at Union County High School on Monday, in the company with two parents who have lost children to drugs.
"Not a lot of people know that we're going to lose more people to prescription drug overdoses this year than we lose from traffic accidents," Conway said. "It happened last year. The data is starting to tell us that one in five kids is using prescription pills for an off-label purpose. We saw the number of overdose deaths going up. Young people think that because a doctor prescribed it and there's a label on it, it won't hurt you.
"We lose over 1,000 people a year to prescription pill overdoses. That's more than we lose on our highways. And we think that's under-reported" because only about half of accidental deaths get entered into the state medical examiner's system.
Xanax, hydrocodone and oxycodone cause more deaths than alcohol, heroin or cocaine, he said. "Those are the three leading things found in the bloodstream of those reported deaths." Oxycontin, a time-released form of oxycodone, is particularly dangerous, he said, because when it is crushed it releases all of the drug at once. And some people's bodies can't handle it.
Part of the problem, he said, is that the state tool for tracking drugs is ineffective. KASPER, which stands for Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting, would be moved from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to the attorney general's office if House Bill 4 passes, but it's being fought by the medical community, he said.
Other major provisions of the bill would require doctors to participate (only about 25 percent currently do), stop pain management clinics from dispensing drugs, and require that such clinics be owned by physicians or health care facilities. It would also limit mail order sales. "You don't need to be shipping a 90-day supply of oxycontin or hydrocodone when about half of it typically ends up on the street," he said.
KASPER also needs to have the ability to communicate with similar systems in other states, he said. That's particularly important in border towns such as Henderson, where "you need to know what's going on in Illinois and Indiana. Because it's very easy to ride over and get the pills elsewhere."
Henderson County residents who accompanied Conway to his Morganfield appearance included science teacher Ashley Bailey and students Laura Kirk, Dallas Dohrn, Riley Thompson and Amanda Keown, who are part of a program at Henderson County High School to combat substance abuse. "I made them a promise to come do one of those events in Henderson."

Labels: , , , ,

Brain Pills
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
Dave's site
Stem Stall
Bush the hypocrite

June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   December 2005   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   March 2009   November 2009   April 2010   October 2010   April 2011   May 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013  


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

  Link to us: Link to us!