Gov. Beshear testifies to congressional panel about drug abuse in Ky.

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX19) - Gov. Steve Beshear testified before a congressional panel Thursday on the prescription drug abuse issues facing Kentucky and the nation.

During his testimony, Gov. Beshear urged Congress to continue providing resources to the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Grant Program. The Governor also proposed mandatory training for those who prescribe controlled substances and requested that more federal resources be focused on ceasing Florida's illegal prescription drug flow.

"The fastest growing, most prolific substance abuse issue facing our country is the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs," said Gov. Beshear.  "In Kentucky alone, 82 people die every month from drug overdoses, a number that has now surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in our state.  Since faced with this horrific epidemic, Kentucky has acted aggressively in ramping up law enforcement, policy initiatives and prescription drug monitoring efforts."

Beshear also stressed the importance of increasing resources to federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutors in Florida to address the threat that drugs obtained there will be diverted and abused on a regional scale.

"Kentucky is not an island," said Gov. Beshear.  "We live in a mobile society and that mobility limits the ability of any one state to be entirely successful in addressing substance abuse issues.  My testimony today calls on several strategies that have a higher probability of success when implemented on a national level."

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