A new report finds there has been an “alarming” increase in drug overdoses in Kentucky in recent years. The data compiled for the study was collected over an eleven year period.
The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center says drug overdose mortality rates increased 282 percent between 2000 and 2010. In the Bluegrass State, that means the overdose mortality rate has jumped from six deaths per one hundred thousand people to nearly 23 deaths per one hundred thousand people during that eleven year period.
The Research Center is located in the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, and is an agent for the Kentucky Department of Public Health. The new report is based on an examination of emergency departments, inpatient hospitalization statistics, and mortality data.
The mass-killings last week in Newtown, Connecticut have begun a national dialogue about America’s gun laws. In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam says the killings will likely have an impact on proposed gun legislation set to be taken up next year in the Volunteer State.
Gov. Haslam says he believes schools and universities in Tennessee should be allowed to legally ban their workers from bringing guns to work. The Tennessean reports it’s a position that puts Haslam at odds with some fellow Republicans in the Tennessee legislature. Some lawmakers in the state are proposing legislation that would force employers to allow workers to have guns in workplace parking lots, as long as owners keep those firearms in their vehicles.
A poll taken for Vanderbilt University before Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown showed 53% of Tennesseans surveyed supported the so-called “guns in trunks” legislation.
Kentucky's Fire Marshal is warning residents of the state to take steps to keep their homes safe for the holidays. Across the nation, about 230 home fires are caused each year by blazes related to decorated trees.
State Fire Marshal Bill Swope says about one-third of the Christmas tree fires that occur are caused by electrical problems, so its very important to use only lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and to turn off the decorative lighting before leaving home or going to bed.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
We begin this hour with tragedy in Connecticut. This morning, around nine o'clock, a gunman walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He was armed and, at some point, began shooting.
As the investigation into the elementary school shooting in Connecticut continues, WKU Psychology Professor Dr. Bill Pfohl is offering some advice for reporters at the scene. The lead person for the National Emergency Assistance Team of the National Association of School Psychologists says "it's a bad idea" to conduct TV interviews with young people who have experienced such trauma.
He says putting that kind of pressure on children who have witnessed tragedy could be harmful to them.
Dr. Pfohl says its important for parents to understand that trauma isn't limited to those who actually witnessed the violence. He urges parents to limit the amount of time children watch news coverage of the tragedy.
More information about recommendations from the National Association of School Psychologists can be found at the group's website.
A new Vanderbilt University poll shows a strong preference among Tennesseans for a state-run health insurance exchange over one run by the federal government.
The poll of 829 registered voters released Wednesday showed 53 percent favor the state-run exchange, while 33 percent prefer the federal approach.
The results contrast with Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's decision earlier this week not to pursue a state-run exchange. Vanderbilt officials said the governor was not aware of the poll results before Wednesday's release.