Kentucky selected to participate in national prescription drug abuse initiative

Governor Steve Beshear announced on Sept. 21, that Kentucky has been selected to participate in a prescription drug abuse initiative hosted by the National Governors Association. The Commonwealth joins Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia in developing and implementing comprehensive and coordinated strategies which will take advantage of all available tools and resources to address the problem.

“Prescription drug abuse continues to be the fastest growing drug-related issue facing our communities, and unfortunately, Kentucky is not alone in this plight,” Gov. Beshear said. “As the problem persists and spreads, we recognize that we need comprehensive regional and national strategies to combat the abuse, while ensuring that the legitimate medical needs of our citizens are met.”

As part of the initiative, the selected states will participate in two-day policy academy meetings, in-state policy workshops, receive technical assistance from the NGA Center and receive a $45,000 subgrant to support related activities.

Other state officials applauded Kentucky’s inclusion in the initiative.

“I appreciate Gov. Beshear’s leadership and commitment to combating an epidemic that kills more than 1,000 Kentuckians each year,” said Attorney General Jack Conway. “Prescription drug abuse is an all hands on deck issue, and I look forward to participating in this new initiative to identify best practices and share ideas so that we can put a stop to a problem that is preventing Kentucky from being all that it can be.”

This project is in partnership with the National Safety Council and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, CVS Caremark Corporation, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Healthcare Management Distribution Association, Rite Aid Corporation, the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacies and Magellan Health Services.

Information provided by the Governor’s Communication Office.

Staff report.