A drug roundup in Pulaski County is targeting lower-level dealers ahead of future efforts against higher-level offenders.

Forty-seven drug-related indictments with nearly 70 felony charges have been handed down this week by a local grand jury. Pulaski County Sheriff’s Deputy Karl Clinard says this week’s efforts by federal, state, county, and city law enforcement groups have been aimed at those selling prescription pills and methamphetamine, with a growing number of heroin dealers also targeted.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky is suffering a considerable amount of impact from heroin, and we’re trying to work on that. That’s a higher-level drug that we’re trying to incorporate into our round ups.”

Clinard says that information gained from this week’s arrests will be used to target higher-level drug traffickers in the Pulaski County region.

This week's roundup was a combined effort of the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, the Lake Cumberland Area Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky State Police Drug Enforcement/Special Investigations East, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General,  Somerset Police Department,  Burnside Police Department,  Science Hill Police Department, Ferguson Police Department and Eubank Police Department.

Tennessee Governor Announces Anti-Meth Legislation

Jan 16, 2014
Barren County Drug Task Force

Governor Bill Haslam is proposing legislation that would require a prescription for more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines that are used to make methamphetamine.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the bill is meant to target the purchase of large amounts of medicines from a variety of stores, which is known as "smurfing."

The monthly amount of cold medicines like Sudafed that could be purchased without a prescription is the equivalent to the average total purchased by Tennesseans each year.

Haslam's office noted that 268 children were removed from their homes last year due to meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized.

Report: Meth Lab Busts in Kentucky Declining

Apr 15, 2013
Barren-Edmonston Drug Task Force

A report from the Kentucky Drug Control Policy Office says the number of methamphetamine labs found in the state in 2012 has dropped after a peak year.

The report lists 1,060 labs being discovered last year, a slight drop from the peak year of 1,233 found in 2011. Until last year, the number of meth labs located had increased each year since 2008.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports that officials can't point to any one reason why meth lab discoveries declined last year but say a contributing factor could be that state law changed last year to limit the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can purchase without a prescription. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in locally produced methamphetamine.

The law limits the amount of pseudoephedrine, a common cold and allergy medicine, a person can purchase without a prescription to 24 grams a year.

Barren County Drug Task Force

One-hundred-thirty thousand dollars. That’s the average hospital cost of treating someone who has suffered burns in a meth lab fire—60% more than other burn patients. On top of that, most meth patients are uninsured.

Drug crimes in Tennessee have risen to their second-highest number in eleven years. That comes despite the fact that overall crime rates in the Volunteer State are dropping. On the one hand, Tennessee has experienced four years of general crime declines. On the other hand, the Tennessean reports that drug-related incidents are on the rise throughout the state.

A lobbying group for various drug manufacturers has set a record for money spent during a Kentucky legislative session. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association spent nearly half a million dollars between January and March lobbying against a bill aimed at curbing meth production by limiting pseudoephedrine purchases. According to the Legislative Branch Ethics Commission, that’s a new yearly record,  and there's still one month of accounting left to do.

Forty-two year old Chris Thomason of Glasgow was once what he calls “a model citizen” who coached Little League, held a management level position at a local factory, and earned a decent living. Then he started smoking meth, and he lost everything.

One reason methamphetamine is wreaking havoc on our region is the highly addictive nature of the drug. Meth impacts the brain in ways other drugs don’t, making it much easier for users to become addicts, and much harder for addicts to give up the habit.

A proposal to restrict the purchase of pseudoephedrine-containing medicine is now up for discussion in the Kentucky House. The medicine is a key ingredient in meth production.

A bill dealing with pseudoephedrine usage could be in trouble for the second straight legislative session. Supporters of restricting PSE use thought they had a compromise. Previous bills have attempted to make the drug available by prescription only. The latest measure would allow the drug to remain over the counter but limits consumers to three point six grams per month and fifteen grams per year.