Progress Surprises Governor As Commonwealth Battles Pill Abuse
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he's been surprised by the progress made in fighting prescription drug abuse in the year since a state law took aim at the problem. Beshear told reporters Thursday that the law has made some "swift changes" in combating a chronic state problem.
The governor's office backed up his comments with statistics showing that for the first time in a decade, the number of prescription overdose deaths in Kentucky has declined, albeit slightly. It says 20 non-doctor-owned pain management clinics have closed and thousands more prescribers are registered with a prescription electronic tracking system.
Also, statistics show prescribing rates for some commonly abused painkillers have dropped.
Beshear says the law appears to be working, but says the fight against drug abuse is a "never-ending battle."