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Drugs Used to Treat Addiction Are Becoming a New Market for Traffickers

Two Campbellsville residents have been arrested for obtaining and distributing prescription drugs under false pretenses.  Investigators say the pair illegally distributed more than a thousand Suboxone tablets. 

Steve Davis, Inspector General for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, says Suboxone is used to wean addicts off of opiates, but it still has addictive qualities.

"It is itself an opiate, but it's a partial antagonist, which means it doesn't have the full effect that a full-fledged opiate would have," Davis told WKU Public Radio.  "One of the primary differences is that it doesn't cause respiratory distress when it's over-utilized."The Suboxone tablets were allegedly obtained in four counties using other people’s identities.  Davis says the state is seeing an increase in abuse of Suboxone.

Thirty-two-year-old Kori Posey and 36-year-old Donald Thompson, both from Taylor County, were arrested following a nine-month investigation by multiple agencies.  The pair has since been indicted by a grand jury.

The investigation began when a medical provider reported suspected fraud using KASPER, which is a statewide database that tracks what drugs have already been prescribed to patients.  The aim is to prevent doctor-shopping, which occurs when a patient seeks similar prescriptions, typically painkillers, from multiple doctors. 

State lawmakers in 2012 passed legislation requiring doctors to register and use KASPER.  Before then, participation was voluntary.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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