It was a privilege to again join Holly Petraeus, Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to focus attention on consumer issues facing our nation's servicemembers and their families. Mrs. Petraeus, Brig. Gen. David Ehrhart (USAF, Ret.) and Francis King with the U.S. Department of Justice were guests on a panel I moderated in Nashville, TN this morning at the National Association of Attorneys General-Southern Region meeting.
In 2011, Mrs. Petraeus, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper and I co-hosted an event at Fort Campbell to provide soldiers and their families with the tools and information they need to protect themselves against unscrupulous businesses.
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of serving as guest lecturer at the University of Tennessee's College of Law. I talked about a variety of consumer protection issues and my investigation of the for-profit college industry.
My Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners and I received a warm welcome at West Jessamine and George Rogers Clark high schools yesterday. We were able to talk to nearly 2,000 students about the heavy toll that prescription pill abuse has taken on our state and on our families.
I was grateful for the strong show of support from community leaders in both Jessamine and Clark counties, including State Senator Tom Buford and State Representative Donna Mayfield, who took time out of their busy schedules to attend our program. Although we don't always see eye-to-eye politically, Sen. Buford and Rep. Mayfield, who are Republicans, are in agreement that prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that knows no political or socio-economic boundaries.
Sadly, I was reminded again of the heartbreaking toll prescription pill abuse has taken on our children. After our program in Clark County, a young woman shared with me how prescription drugs and other substance abuse tore her family apart. Her parents, both addicts, were incapable of raising her. Fortunately, family members stepped in to help, but it has been a painful road for this young girl. Far too many children in Kentucky are bearing this difficult burden.
That's why I'll continue traveling the state with concerned parents, like Karen Shay and Mike Donta, and my state and law enforcement partners to urge students to say no if someone, other than their doctor, offers them a prescription medication. Our next school program is Tuesday, March 26 at Camp Ernst Middle School in Boone County. For more information on our visit to Clark and Jessamine counties, please see our press release.
If you or your family has been touched by prescription pill abuse, share your story through my Prescription Drug Abuse page. Videos may be submitted as a video response to any of our video clips.