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Kentucky fares well in new drug report;

LONDON – A new national report shows Kentucky fares well compared to other states in the number of patients potentially misusing non-prescribed medications or abusing illegal drugs.
Kentucky, “which has long been known as an epicenter of the national prescription drug epidemic,” was “noticeably absent” from the top 10 worst performing states in each of three categories studied, according to the report, released December 17 by Ameritox, a leader in medication monitoring solutions.
 

Urine samples were collected from more than 400,000 patients to examine three specific areas of concern: (1) patients who were prescribed drugs but those drugs weren’t found; (2) evidence of drugs for which there was no prescription; and (3) the presence of one or more illicit drugs.
“Kentucky showed modest improvements in each of the three categories between 2012 and 2014,” the research report stated. By comparison, overall more patients on chronic opioid therapy tested positive for a drug not prescribed by their doctor or for an illicit drug than two years ago.

“Treating pain is a major challenge in our society, and so is the potential for misuse of prescription medications and the abuse of illicit drugs,” said Scott Walton, CEO of Ameritox. “We need a concerted, dynamic approach – one that uses monitoring and additional insights at the clinical level – to address this problem.”

 

The report showed that Kentucky:


• Ranked 36th for “prescribed drug not found” at 23.7% of samples.
• Ranked 35th for “non-prescribed drug found” at 30.3% of samples.
• Ranked 22nd for “one or more illicit drugs found” at 11.9% of samples. Marijuana (78%), cocaine (16.7%) and heroin (4.6%) were the most common substances detected among the samples testing positive.

Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, said the report indicates state efforts to address this national epidemic are working.
“The strategies we have implemented in Kentucky are having a positive effect,” Ingram said. “Cautious prescribing, use of prescription monitoring systems and drug disposal are just some of the strategies that are having an impact on Kentucky’s prescription drug problems.”

There were 980 Kentucky resident drug overdose deaths in 2013, a 5% decrease from 1,032 deaths in 2012, according to the Kentucky Safety and Alignment Network. Drugs and medications – over-the-counter, prescription drugs and illicit drugs – were the underlying cause of death for 94.5% of all poisoning deaths in the state.

“It’s a validation that our treatment and education initiatives are working,” noted Dan Smoot, president and CEO of Operation UNITE, which has been dealing with prescription drug problems in southern and eastern Kentucky since 2003.

UNITE’s unique three-pronged approach to curbing prescription drug abuse and diversion – through law enforcement, treatment and education initiatives – has been heralded at many levels, including the White House. In addition, UNITE organizes an annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit that is the largest national collaboration of professionals impacted by prescription drug abuse.

“Our success is due, in part, to state officials making prescription drug abuse a priority,” Smoot stated. “Through legislative action and support of programs such as Recovery Kentucky and Drug Courts, we’ve come leaps and bounds from the destructive spiral we were on just a decade ago.”

“Is there still work to be done? Absolutely,” Smoot said. “But, this positive report reflects that we’re moving in the right direction.”

For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at www.operationunite.org<http://www.operationunite.org>.

Hold Up Two Fingers

America falls behind China

 

By Glenn Mollette

Many of us heard the news on December 4. America is no longer number 1. We are now number 2. The Chinese economy overtook our economy to become the largest in the world.  We've been the leading economic power for about 150 years but times have changed. We can now take our number one finger down or instead hold up two fingers.

I remember as a child hearing about our country being number one in everything. We were the number one economic power. We were number one in Education. We were number one in the Olympics. We were the best in the space program. We were the best in making cars.

We smirked about our transitor radios made in Hong Kong although they were really good radios. We don't smirk today. If a television isn't make in Hong Kong or Japan we figure it's a piece of junk.

In 1975 I bought a Chevrolet Monza. Suddenly the whole floor was pulled out from beneath me when I realized General Motors was making garbage to sell to economy conscious consumers. It was like General Motors had thrown something together to sell to us poor young college students who were strapped for cash and wanted to make our gasoline go further. I struggled as this car suffered numerous breakdowns. Finally, I drove a Toyota Celica and felt like I was riding in a new Mercedes.

My father-in- law at the time was an engineer for General Motors and hated Japanese cars. He also served in the military in World War II and had nothing good to say about the Japanese.

Many American cars went through a poor craftsman stage during the early seventies. Our lousy production flooded the country with Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas and Volkswagens. There are now large manufacturing plants scattered throughout America bearing these names. I realize they hire Americans and that is great but how much money really ends up across the ocean?  I think most American cars are very good today. However, we got ourselves behind the eight ball due to a lot of years of poor craftsmanship. Today we are strangled due to the overwhelming retirement packages promised to retirees.

During the same era that we were making substandard cars, our government was cranking out free money and food stamps. This has only increased. We became obese, smoked our lungs out while trying to find entertainment through our four hundred television channels. Our government started paying people just enough so that they did not want to work. One employer recently lamented that his biggest competitor is the federal government.

We allowed lawyers to become crooks by conniving with clients on how to get something for nothing. Throughout Appalachia and other parts of our nation lawyers advertise promising their clients disability checks and other welfare compensation.

Too many Americans started buying into something for nothing. Somebody told us we didn't have to work hard or compete. We were simply entitled to the good life because we had been born. We demanded more wages, more generous retirement packages and gold lined health insurance packages. This was all great but many American corporations, strong-armed by unions, promised to pay what they really could not afford. Today they are struggling to pay retirees and cannot grow their current work force.

We must generate a new America. Fifty percent of the people cannot sit home while the other fifty percent carry the load. We cannot expect to collect wages when we may have contributed little into a system that is already eighteen trillion dollars in the red and bleeding red ink every day.

We can save America but we have to put our hands to work. Too many Americans have their hands out or are pointing their fingers at others. We need to point our hands and our fingers at ourselves and do something.  We need to do what we can for the sake of family, our country and ourselves. It's not what "they" can do for us. It's about what we can do to be the best, not number two.

 

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.

Like his facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette

visit www.glennmollette.com

 

Why not Louisa-Lawrence County?

 

Date: 12-03-2014;

State announces nearly $700,000 for community parks and recreational projects

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced 17 Land and Water Conservation Fund grants to help fund recreational and tourism projects in communities throughout Kentucky. The Department for Local Government will administer the grants, totaling nearly $700,000.

“Parks and recreational facilities play an important part in enhancing the quality of life in our Kentucky communities,” Beshear said in a news release. “This LCWF funding will go toward improving recreational projects in towns across the Commonwealth and provide children and residents of all ages with safe, quality spaces to be active, play sports and live overall healthier lifestyles.”

The LWCF is a grant matching reimbursement program for the development and maintenance of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities, such as campgrounds, sports and playfields, swimming and fishing areas, boating facilities and trails. 

Funding for this program is allocated to DLG by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Interior. Cities, counties, state and federal agencies are eligible to apply. 

Fiscal year 2014 applicants that have been approved for LWCF grants include:

Barren Co.
Cave City Park Baseball/Softball Field Project
City of Cave City
$18,968

Clark Co.
Winchester Youth Soccer Complex - Restroom/Concession
City of Winchester
$75,000

Clay Co.
Bert T. Combs Equestrian Trail/Campground Restroom Project
City of Manchester
$24,779

Fleming Co.
Flemingsburg City Park Updates
City of Flemingsburg
$8,885

Franklin Co.
Franklin County Lakeview Park Splash Pad
Franklin County Fiscal Court
$75,000

Grayson Co.
James Beville City Park Walking Trail Repair Project
City of Leitchfield
$12,000

Green Co.
Green County Park Pump Track Project
Green County Fiscal Court
$25,000

Hancock Co.
Vastwood Park Lake Ecosystem Enrichment Project
Hancock County Fiscal Court
$13,441

Hopkins Co.
Hopkins County YAA Park Improvement Project
Hopkins County Fiscal Court
$70,000

McCracken Co.
14th Street Park Development - Phase I
City of Paducah
$75,000

Muhlenberg Co.
Central City Lu-Ray Park Improvements Project
City of Central City
$75,000

Powell Co.
Clay City Park Trail Expansion
City of Clay City
$30,000

Robertson Co.
Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park Spray Park
Kentucky Department of Parks
$75,000

Wayne Co.
Aspire Center Park Improvements
City of Monticello
$15,477

Webster Co.
Sebree Springs Park Playground Equipment Project
City of Sebree
$23,560

Webster Co.
Dixon City Parks Improvement Project
City of Dixon
$27,500

Wolfe Co.
Helechawa Park Development Project
Wolfe County Fiscal Court
$52,934

TOTAL: $697,544


December 5, 2014;

America's Cops and Eric Garner; Tragic, but don't fight the police... 

By Glenn Mollette 

Most Americans hope we never have to call the police. A call to the police usually means something bad is happening. However, we want the police if we need them. We hope that if we are in danger a policeman will be just a few moments away. 

Charles Barkley is right. "Without cops, "Our neighborhoods would be like the wild, wild, west." St.Louis.cbslocal.com ,  Few if any Americans really want to live in towns where there is no police presence. 

I've only had one irritating episode with a policeman. I was driving through a small town and crossed the yellow line. A young sheriff's deputy who obviously had nothing to do detained me for about fifteen minutes checking my registration and shining his flashlight in my truck. Finally, he was satisfied that I was not on drugs or alcohol.  Most likely I had been dialing the knob on my radio when I committed the unthinkable of crossing the yellow line. 

I've also been pulled over for speeding. I've had a ticket or two and deserved them. Looking back those cops may have saved my life. Sometimes a brief pullover or interruption may save us from a catastrophe further down the road. 

The recent New York City cop who choked Eric Garner to death was wrong.  What happened to tasers? There were plenty of cops of top of Garner they didn't need to choke him to death. I realize there are violet criminals that warrant aggressive measures. If they had been dealing with someone posing a threat or with the Taliban or ISIS I could understand. 

Does anybody remember Rodney King? Never has such a brutal beating by so many police been captured on video for all to see. 

Our country is extremely troubled. We don't need psycho police proving they are big macho policeman. On the other hand the citizens of this country have to be respectful of each other and the law. We can't walk down the streets threatening the police and talking trash to them.  Nor, are we in the position to resist arrest when breaking the law. The person wearing the badge and carrying the gun has the authority and is likely to react.   

Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.   

Like his facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/GlennMollette  visit www.glennmollette.com

December 1, 2014;

Senator Jones elected Senate Democratic Floor Leader 

FRANKFORT – Lawrence County State Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, has been elected Senate Democratic floor leader by the Senate Democratic Caucus. Also, elected to the leadership team were Senator Gerald A. Neal, D-Louisville, as caucus chair and former governor and current state Senator Julian M. Carroll, D-Frankfort, as caucus whip. 

“I am very appreciative of the confidence entrusted in me by my fellow Democrat Senators,” Senator Jones said.  “The position of Democratic floor leader comes with a great deal of responsibility, but I am prepared to accept that challenge head on. I will work with all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in the House and with Governor Beshear to address the issues facing our Commonwealth and to move our state forward.”

“I bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to this position,” he added. “My leadership in the past will benefit our caucus as we restructure and prepare to work to pass important legislation in 2015.”

As the Democratic floor leader, Senator Jones will have a seat at the budget conference committee, which will allow him to bring more money home to his district particularly at a time of scare resources.

Senator Jones has been active in the decision-making process in Frankfort, including sitting for two tenures on the powerful Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee that writes the state budget.  A strong champion of energy and mine safety, he co-authored the landmark mine safety legislation enacted during the 2006 legislative session and served as the point person for the Democratic Caucus during the drafting of the legislation.  He also served as a member of the legislative working group that developed Kentucky’s comprehensive energy legislation in 2007.  

Senator Jones is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Louisville School of Law.  He is the managing partner of Jones and Hickman PSC, a law firm in Pikeville.

Senator Jones, who represents Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan and Pike counties, has been a member of the State Senate since 2001.

The legislature will convene the 2015 Legislative Session at noon Tuesday, Jan. 6 for a brief organizational session, which will conclude Friday, Jan. 9.  Legislators will return to Frankfort Tuesday, Feb. 3, to continue the 2015 Legislative Session.