Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Ky. meeting today targets OxyContin




By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A Kentucky task force charged with attacking the illicit use of the painkiller OxyContin will meet for the first time today.

        Representatives from 15 agencies — including the state attorney general's office, state police and prosecutor's office — are expected to attend the 9:30 a.m. meeting in Frankfort.

        Gov. Paul Patton announced the formation of the task force in late February after a bust in Eastern Kentucky netted more than 200 drug indictments involving the illegal sale or use of OxyContin. The time-release drug is used to temper chronic pain associated with diseases such as cancer.

        Lt. Kevin Payne, a Kentucky State Police spokesman, said he expects a briefing at the meeting today about the discussions at a multistate summit held in Virginia earlier this month.

        At that meeting, authorities from Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland met with senior officials of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LC and members of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

        Virginia Attorney General Mark L. Earley then outlined a plan for his state for stopping the proliferation of the drug.

        Purdue Pharma agreed to help educate the public and enforce proper use of the narcotic, and plans have already been tailored for Virginia.

        Lt. Payne said Kentucky task force likely will try to develop a plan for the commonwealth.

        Corey Bellamy, spokesman for the Kentucky attorney general's office, said the state has developed programs to combat the abuse of OxyContin and other prescription medications.

        “(This) meeting of the task force brings together professionals ... to coordinate efforts to address abuse of this drug,” Mr. Bellamy said.

       



Road projects ready to roll
Boost sought for rental units
Ohio moves on multistate lottery
RADEL: River town
Winds snuff power, batter trees, roofs
Bike path to link Ohio's north, south
Patrol to crack down along death-prone road
SAMPLES: 'Social capital' sustains rally
Contractor to retrieve fallen span from river
M.U. to add new accent
Montgomery may be brighter
Child's play serious for organization of certified therapists
Activist heads to N.Ky.
12 arrested in alleged illegal Freon ring
Arson device found in law office
Crackdown on young smokers
3 generations go to state
Henderson council repeals ordinance protecting gays
Income tax for schools opposed
- Ky. meeting today targets OxyContin
Stuck trucks to close Reading railroad crossing
Survey opposes changes in school times
Suspect was on parole
Vote tolerates same-sex unions
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report