Prescription pill problem in Kentucky, elsewhere under microscope on NPR program

The growing prescription-drug abuse problem in Kentucky and other states was under the microscope Thursday during National Public Radio‘s “On Point,” hosted by Tom Ashbrook.

The Courier-Journal‘s Laura Ungar, who wrote an extensive series on pain-medicine abuse this year, was one of three journalists who spoke about the epidemic. Dealers visit various pain-management clinics, which have been labeled “pill mills,” fill the prescriptions and then sell the drugs at a high profit.

Ungar, left, called the prescription drug trade “akin to the illegal drug trade, where many of our folks in Kentucky are getting drugs that originated in Florida.” Indeed, 98 of the nation’s top 100 prescribers of drugs Oxycontin and Xanax are in Florida, the journalists conveyed.
One caller to the show, identified as Michelle of Carter County, Kentucky, shared what it was like when her mother was a pain-meds addict. “We would wake up in middle night and have to put her to bed because she was like a zombie,” she said. “It was like no one was there.”To read more and listen to the show, click here.
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