Drug overdose deaths in Kentucky declined in 2012 compared to the previous year but the state’s drug czar says deaths connected to the use of heroin skyrocketed. Van Ingram is director of Kentucky’s Office of Drug Policy and Control.
He says 1, 004 people died in Kentucky from drug overdoses last year, 19 fewer than 2011. However, he says, deaths from heroin jumped more than 550 percent. The lower price, says the former Maysville police chief, had a lot to do with that…
"We have a long history of an opiate problem in this state and heroin is an opiate…it’s just a street version as opposed to a pharmaceutical version. Unfortunately, people who are addicted to opiates and are accustomed to IV drug use are going to be drawn towards heroin because it’s cheap and available." - Van Ingram, Kentucky’s Office of Drug Policy and Control
Van Ingram says deaths from heroin accounted for just three percent of total drug fatalities in 2011.