This week, I attended the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Fall Meeting in New Orleans. As co-chair of the NAAG Substance Abuse Committee, serving alongside Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, I had the opportunity to share a presentation with attendees about the rise of heroin in Kentucky and what we are doing to combat the problem.
Unfortunately, deaths from heroin overdose continue to climb across the Commonwealth. In fact, heroin-related deaths in 2012 were more than triple those reported in 2011. That’s why my office is working with state lawmakers on legislation to try and stop this disturbing trend. At the same time, I am committed to increasing awareness in our state and educating our children about this issue. Through my Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, I share with middle and high school students in Kentucky the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and heroin. To date, we’ve reached more than 30,000 students, teachers and parents across the Commonwealth with our message, and I’m looking forward to speaking at even more schools in 2014.
We welcomed great news this week from my Office of Consumer Protection. On Wednesday, a Franklin Circuit Court judge issued an order fining National College $1,000 per day for not complying with the subpoenas my office issued as part of our investigation of some for-profit colleges. To date, National owes $126,000. The judge also fined National's attorneys $10,000 for unprofessional conduct. It’s time for National College to stop the games, turn over the documents we’ve requested, and pay the fine. You can read more about the ruling here.
I enjoyed catching up with Mary Walter on 84 WHAS this morning. I had the opportunity to share important information with listeners regarding copycat kynect health insurance exchange websites. I took action earlier this week against a company operating a website deceptively similar to the Kentucky health insurance exchange. The copycat website was kynect101.com, and it’s the third misleading site that we have taken down, corrected or blocked in an effort to keep Kentuckians safe from scams when shopping online for health care coverage. My Office of Consumer Protection and I have created a list of tips that can help you avoid these scams. You can find the list here.
Protecting consumers from scams during the holidays is the focus of my latest column. Much like storms and natural disasters, the season of giving brings out the best and worst in people, and scam artists are always discovering new schemes to take advantage of the kindness of others. From ensuring that your donations are made to reputable charities to staying safe when shopping online, you can find lots of useful information in this month’s column. You can also read about all of the great work my office accomplished during the month of November in our newsletter, Kentucky General News.
Finally, today is the deadline to submit entries for this year’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention PSA contest, and I’m looking forward to watching all of the creative videos that are sent in. We’ll be naming a winner next week!
Have a great weekend and stay safe if you’re traveling on the roads.