Eastern Ky. officials to host forums, discuss substance-abuse

Police, healthcare providers and others plan a series of community forums on the state's substance-abuse problem, including how to keep doctors safe in the wake of a fatal shooting at a Perry County clinic.

Dr. Dennis Sandlin, 57, was killed at the clinic in Leatherwood on Dec. 8. John Carles Combs, 46, has been charged with murder in the case.

Combs allegedly became irate after being told he would have to take a drug test in order to get a prescription for pain pills.

The forums will begin in January and will include discussions on the growing problem with abuse of prescription drugs, improving the safety of healthcare providers and ways to expand drug treatment and prevention, according to a news release from the office Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.

Those supporting the forums include Operation UNITE, the state Office of Drug Control Policy, state lawmakers, doctors and groups representing hospitals and pharmacists, Mongiardo's office said.