This is the latest monthly from current Attorney General, and Senate candidate Jack Conway courtesy of pageonekentucky: Attorney General Jack Conway’s Monthly Column.
He says we have a prescription drug abuse problem in Kentucky and of course he is leading the way to stopping it. Um Mr. Conway sir? This is a no brainer and quite frankly has been a problem for a number of years.
While agreeing it is a problem it certainly deserves more than a band aid fix and being an election year issue. We must get our State legislators to fund a serious initiative, including a serious task force made up of more than a handful of people.
Perhaps we could quit spending so much on so called "drug wars" and start actually running one.
For example prescription drug abuse far outweighs any marijuana drug abuse with far worse and farther reaching repercussions. We have the people in place to help us fight against it. We need to utilize them more effectively and guide them to the real problems. Not the ones we want to make one.
In fact you should also push for a mandatory drug testing program for all Government employees including elected members.
Private business does it and many of your buddies would have problems passing. Whether you would be surprised or shocked by that I would not know. But somehow, according to some sources, I believe you know some of your buddies and people close to you that abuse drugs. Heck most of us know someone who is or has been affected by this.
Jack admits this problem has affected his own family and I give him kudos for that as no one family is immune from this problem no matter how powerful they think they are. I hope that Mr. Conway addresses the other rumored drug problems in his family as well but I digress.
For years I have been promoting an online program linked to each and every pharmacy throughout Kentucky, and linked to all Doctors doing business in Kentucky, that would immediately red flag and STOP any prescription from being filled that would show up as being filled too early or multiple types of the same drug to the same person. Anyone doctor hopping would show up. Anyone getting multiple prescriptions would show up.
This from the AG does partially address some of what I have been promoting for many years including the Mayoral campaign of 2006:
On August 20, I was pleased to announce the creation of Kentucky’s first statewide prescription drug abuse task force. A $50,000 grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) will serve as seed money to intensify our investigations statewide into doctor shopping, drug trafficking, overprescribing physicians and illegal out-of-state pharmacies.
The problem is this is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Unless we get serious about funding this we will continue to do what we always do. Throw good money after bad and nothing real gets accomplished. I will not even go into NADDI at this time.
Of course this does not address the issue of our illegal prescription drugs running rampant throughout our schools with our kids.
Most middle schoolers and practically ALL high school students know who they can go to and get just about anything they want. Zanax, lortabs, Valium, Ritalin, you name it someone has it. In fact one little known thing about the Ritalin patches is how they are illegally used. They can be frozen and the med scraped off and snorted.
Instant speed rush. Sadly just about anyone can get Ritalin or other ADD drugs easily today.
Some of our middle school kids are very adept at knowing just what to say to their folks and their Doctor to get what they want. Our kids are teaching our kids how to get and abuse prescription drugs. Our kids in many instances are better educators than we are. At least when it comes to the bad stuff. If our kids are being educated this early then we must begin educating them even earlier. Unless we stop tihs at the start we can never get ahead of the abuse and stop it altogether. Or at least slow it down.
This is a problem that will not go away unless we get aggressive about prevention as well and therein lies the problem.
The Doctor's are scared of malpractice suits and most family Docs simply treat the symptoms with input from the parents or the kid on what is wrong with them. Testing is becoming a thing of the past because insurers are denying more and more tests to save money. Going to a specialist requires another co pay and many cannot afford that either. Most Docs understand this and are trying to help the parent in some cases by prescribing a drug like Ritalin based on what they are told not necessarily what the child has been diagnosed with through a legitmate test.
So what to do?
Simple. GET INVOLVED in your child's emotional problems as well as the normal medical ones.
They do go hand in hand in many cases. Being a parent is not easy and we may not always want to hear some things but it is our duty to listen. Most behavioral problems stem from something the child is not comfortable dealing with themselves or don't feel comfortable talking with someone else about. Talk to them and get to know them.
Do not be scared to talk about their day. Or worse yet be too tired to make sure of how it went. Being a child is hard enough with so many outside peer pressures many of us have forgotten existed or chose to ignore, and it is up to us to show them the right way even if it means the dreaded discipline. Yep you may actually have to act like a parent on occasion and be the mean one for awhile. Kids do get over that.
While the AG is on point, albeit a day late and a dollar short, as seems to be the usual with political leaders, it is a start on one end of the problem.
We must as parents start working on our end. Times are tough and will get tougher. Many days it seems like we just cannot get ahead. I know and I can relate to that but never can we sacrifice our children to those that would hurt them because we are too tired or working too long to get involved.
Talk to your Dr. when something is wrong and demand tests before ever letting your child be put on meds for anything. Will this work in a foolproof way?
But it is a start.
Sort of like Conway's late attempt.
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