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Kentucky editorial roundup

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 25, 2012 at 10:35 am •  Published: December 25, 2012

And as of early December, OPD had 38 labs on the books for 2012 compared to 42 in 2011. Although it was only a slight drop, it beats the increases that we had become accustomed to.

However, it stands to reason that the state could see a greater influx of crystal meth manufactured outside its borders. ...

But it also lets us know that meth — no matter how it's manufactured — is still a drug in demand. And for that reason alone, citizens and law enforcement must keep their guards up.



Dec. 23

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky., on state drug treatment:

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway have the right words to say when it comes to the state's scourge of prescription-drug addiction.

The Governor has called it a "corrosive evil."

And Conway recently told Courier-Journal reporter Laura Ungar, in the sixth and latest installment of a two-year series, "Prescription for Tragedy," that "We absolutely do not have the treatment we need. Not even close."

Both officials worked with the Kentucky General Assembly to pass legislation to close so-called "pill-mills." And the governor's spokeswoman, Kerri Richardson, insists that the Beshear administration has sought to maintain funding for substance abuse, despite cuts of up to 40 percent at other state agencies during a tough economy. ...

The pain of Ungar's latest findings is that all too often, when people ask for help, they can't get it.

As five-year addict Rachelle Autry, a 30-year-old mother of three, said, "I almost died waiting for treatment. I couldn't stay clean."

She eventually got into The Healing Place, after a 21/2-month wait.

Others aren't as fortunate.

Annual deaths blamed on prescription drug abuse in Kentucky now reaches nearly 1,000, a number that outpaces traffic fatalities.

Kentucky has so many health, welfare and environmental problems, and state government has correspondingly so few resources, that it might be easy to throw one's hands up in despair.

But a state task force has been studying ways to modernize Kentucky's tax structure to generate more revenue for a cash-starved budget and it has emerged with the recommendations would raise about $690 million.

It won't be enough to solve all our problems. Money never is. But as The Courier-Journal has editorialized before, the task force nonetheless has produced some ideas that, if enacted, could at least steer the state toward solvency.

If nothing else, the "Prescription for Tragedy" series has shown why tax reform is necessary and why it should be taken seriously in Frankfort this winter.

This is also an all-hands-on deck moment for all segments of Kentucky society, from government to religious institutions to the nonprofit sector, to schools and to families.

We know what to do. We just need to muscle a way to make it happen.