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Drug Czar Addresses Local Drug Problems

By: Dave Benton
By: Dave Benton

Oxycontin, methamphetamine and crack, they top the drugs that plague our region. Police say drug abuse is the number one reason for 99 percent of local crimes.

That's why the National Drug Czar John Walters came to our region to discuss how to start solving the drug problems. Education and funding are 2 tools needed to combat the drug problems.

While Walters spoke to a crowd at the substance forum at King's Daughter's Hospital in Ashland a pharmacist across the river in Southpoint was held at gunpoint. The gunman stole narcotics proof that drug abuse prevention is long past due in our region.

Police tape lines the entrance to the pharmacy where police say a gunman got away with a handful of pills. When the gunman came into McMeans Pharmacy he didn't want money, just drugs. A good example of how rampant drugs are in our region.

Detectives dust the front door for any clues that can lead them to the armed robber.
This kind of crime is typical in our region. Police say drug addiction is sometimes blamed on doctors. You might recall, three years ago in eastern Kentucky, Dr. David Proctor admitted to addicting hundreds of his patients for profit.

Six years ago, police arrested Doctor John Lilly for illegally prescribing powerful and deadly painkillers by the hundreds.

The problem is great and national drug czar John Walters says he's committed to finding a solution.

John Walters, “one of the things we're looking at is what we need to do with the regional flow and if additional laws are needed.

Congressman Jeff Davis is hoping to get extra funding for education and more police to battle the problem.

Ashland's acting police chief says his department deals with drug crimes every day.

Jeff Davis, “we live in a community of drug crimes that don't stop at the river.”

Chief Davis says a tri-state law enforcement council meet once a month and share information to combat the problem.

A lady called in who says her jeep was stolen from her home in Putnam County. Police say the gunman from today's robbery stole her jeep and left it at the scene. She lives in hurricane. Her jeep is being held while detectives check it for d-n-a and fingerprints.

Description of the man police are looking for:
He is, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, a thin build, wearing a mask, yellow shirt and blue jeans. Anybody with information about this armed robbery is asked to contact the Lawrence County Sheriff's department.


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