A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: Meth from Mexican cartels increasing in Appalachia, fed partly by move to cut opioid access

Central Appalachia has been long known as a hotbed of opioid addiction, but, aided by a Mexican drug cartel, methamphetamine abuse has been surging in the area for the past few years, presaging a nationwide increase in abuse of a more powerful form of the drug. Crystal methamphetamine (DEA photo) “The region where Kentucky meets Ohio and West Virginia has served as a harbinger of national drug...

ProPublica: Purdue Pharma’s Sackler testifies on OxyContin; KY Supreme Court denies appeal

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. This story is a collaboration between ProPublica, STAT and ABC News. By David Armstrong ProPublica Senior Reporter Four years ago this week, Dr. Richard Sackler sat in a conference room at a law office in a Louisville, Kentucky, office park. Lawyers for the Kentucky attorney general’s office were taking his deposition as part of...

Court of Appeals allows release of records that could reveal details about marketing of Oxycontin

The state Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a Pike County judge’s ruling to release secret records about the marketing of OxyContin, the branded form of oxycodone that “has been blamed for helping to seed today’s opioid addiction epidemic,” reports Stat, the medicine-and-science publication of The Boston Globe, which fought to get the records. In the court file is a deposition of Richard...

Beshear announces plans to pursue litigation against ‘contributors’ to state’s opioid crisis

Attorney General Andy Beshear is taking another step in the fight against what he believes is the single greatest threat to Kentucky – the state’s drug epidemic. Beshear announced that his office intends to file multiple lawsuits against drug manufacturers, distributors and retailers where there is evidence that they contributed to the opioid epidemic by illegally marketing and selling opioids...

OxyContin doesn’t provide 12-hour relief for some; can lead to addiction problem

Why have so many people become addicted to the painkiller OxyContin? We know about the overselling of the drug by its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, which cost the company $635 million in 2007 to settle an investigation by the Department of Justice. Now the Los Angeles Times reports on another big reason, which the settlement didn’t address: In many people, OxyContin doesn’t last as long...