This week, I was back in the courtroom for another hearing against the for-profit school National College over the false, misleading information its representatives provided students. I firmly believe National College should be sanctioned for failing to fully comply with my office’s investigation into this matter and request for documents. While the judge hasn’t yet issued a ruling, I appreciate his careful consideration in this case, and I will keep you updated as it progresses. Rest assured that my fight to protect consumers against the deceptive business practices of for-profit colleges will not stop.
Later today, I’ll be catching up with several members of the media in western Kentucky. I’m looking forward to speaking with WSON’s Bill Stevens on his afternoon news radio program in Henderson. I’ll also be chatting with a reporter from WFIE-TV and sitting down with the anchors at WEHT-TV for the station’s 4 p.m. newscast. If you are in the Henderson area, I hope you’ll tune in. Recently, my office has had many significant developments in its fight to curb prescription drug abuse, and I’m eager to discuss those.
For instance, a report released this month shows that the percentage of Kentucky teens misusing prescription drugs has dropped dramatically over the past four years. According to the 2012 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention School Survey, the declines have been the most significant since 2008, when my office, along with state lawmakers and other agencies across the Commonwealth, began intensifying efforts to fight prescription drug abuse.
From the creation of Kentucky’s first and only statewide prescription drug abuse task force in 2009 to the launch of our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe campaign in 2010, an initiative that, to date, has reached more than 25,000 students, teachers and parents, I know the work we are continuing in the Office of the Attorney General to counteract this problem is paying dividends. Additionally, we’ve helped win the passage of comprehensive legislation to shut down pill mills and require doctors to check KASPER reports, and a drug policy report by Trust for America’s Health recognizes that. This month, Kentucky achieved a ranking of nine, on a scale of zero to 10, for its anti-pill-abuse policies.
Still, the report underlines the prescription drug abuse epidemic with a staggering statistic: Kentucky has the third-highest rate of fatal overdoses - the vast majority from prescription pills - in the United States. Without question, this information represents the need for our efforts and shows that the work must continue.
This weekend, I’ll be attending a charity event for the Louisville Metro Police Foundation. The foundation is such an important organization, and I am happy to support its mission. Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect us every day, and I would encourage you to take the time to thank one today for their service.
Next week, I will be meeting with the Lexington-Fayette County Urban League, and I’ll also be announcing details on how you can help me prevent increased prescription drug abuse by taking part in a “Take-Back” event. We’ll have more information on that initiative coming soon.