"Autopsied overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin increased 550 percent over the previous year, from 22 in 2011 to 143 cases in 2012," a release from Gov. Steve Beshear's office said. The decline in prescription-drug deaths was 1.9 percent, from 1,023 to 1,004, but the release said nothing else about the new problem and did not link it to the 2012 law that cracked down on abuse of prescription drugs.
The first quote in John Cheves' Lexington Herald-Leader story came from Van Ingram, executive director of the state Office of Drug Control Policy, which the new law required to begin publishing annual reports on drug overdose fatalities in the state: "There's no great victories here. I'm glad that we're at least seeing a leveling off and some small decline. I've been in this job for nine years and have watched a steady rise in numbers that whole time."
The law required pain-management clinics to be owned by a licensed medical provider, required all drug prescribers to register with a state monitoring system, and reduced the number of prescriptions for heavily abused controlled substances. (Read more)