As stated by a recently released report from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, between 2006 and 2012, Pulaski County’s average of pill per person was greater than the state/national averages of pills per person.
During these years, a total of 29,044,240 prescription pills were sold locally. This was ample for 67 doses for every adult and youngster for each year in the Pulaski County. On the other hand, we had 63.3 doses (1,901,662,933 pills) for every Kentucky based adult and child, and 36 doses (76 billion pills) for every adult and child in the United States.
The Director of Nursing at the 10-county Lake Cumberland District Health Department, Laura Woodrum, stated how this large number of prescriptions allotted in the given period of time was shocking.
She stated how the opioid epidemic started with prescription pills, led to greater use of heroin, and consequently to the present fentanyl predicament, which included nearly 67,000 to the death count between years 2013 and 2017 throughout the U.S. She added how drug abuse (or opioid misuse, to be more specific) is slowly weakening rural communities by impacting life quality, rural development, and economic opportunity.
The Washington Post, while going over the collected data, discovered how rural counties, specifically those in Appalachia, were recipient to the greatest number of pain pills per each person. This added to the prescription opioid epidemic which resulted in about 100,000 demises in the mentioned years.
Martin Hatfield, the Pulaski County Attorney, stated how this problem has shifted from needing to treat an individual’s addiction to averting a nationwide disaster. He stressed in his 30 years’ experience as a prosecutor, he had never come across such a catastrophe.