Federal prosecutors will hold summit on prescription-drug abuse

Kentucky's top federal prosecutors will hold a daylong series of meetings Wednesday in Lexington to discuss dealing with widespread prescription-drug abuse in Kentucky.

The summit, conducted by U.S. Attorneys Kerry B. Harvey and David J. Hale, is the first of its kind in Kentucky.

Sessions will examine the response of health care providers, police and others to the problems caused by prescription-drug abuse.

The event, at the University of Kentucky, is being conducted with UK's schools of medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.

The summit is for police, health care and prevention professionals and the pharmaceutical industry, not the general public.

Abuse of painkillers and other prescription drugs has risen in Kentucky to what some authorities describe as epidemic levels. The state ranks near the top nationally in measures of prescription-drug abuse.

State lawmakers plan to push measures this year aimed at curbing the problem. The proposals will include new controls on pain clinics and requirements for wider use by health care professionals of the state's prescription-drug tracking system.