Senator McConnell's Accomplishments - Combating the Kentucky Drug Epidemic


Prompting Action by FDA on Pain Pill Abuse:  

In 2012 and 2013, Senator McConnell sent letters to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressing concerns with generic, crushable opioids coming to market without abuse-deterrent features. As a result, in April 2013, the FDA announced its decision to prohibit a generic version of Oxycontin without abuse-deterrent features from coming to market.

Banning Synthetic Drugs:

In the spring of 2012, Senator McConnell supported The Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which included several sections related to the prevention of prescription drug abuse. In particular, as a result of a large number of Kentucky youths being hospitalized for their use of synthetic drugs, Senator McConnell supported an amendment to prohibit the production and sale of certain synthetic substances. The Kentucky Narcotics Officers Association was the most vocal public advocate for this federal ban. Given the rampant drug abuse problem in Eastern Kentucky, the federal ban of these substances has given law enforcement the tools they need to combat their production/sale and save lives.

Drug Czar and HIDTA Expansion:  

In 2011, at the request of Senator McConnell, White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director, Gil
Kerlikowske, visited Eastern Kentucky to see first-hand the challenges posed by prescription drug abuse in the Commonwealth. After many months of advocacy and direct conversations with ONDCP in the fall of 2012, Senator McConnell was able to ensure that Hardin County, KY was designated as part of Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), thus addressing a major transshipment point for narcotics into/out of Appalachia.

National Guard Interdiction:

Senator McConnell has secured nearly $38 million for the Kentucky National Guard to destroy marijuana crops in the Daniel Boone National Forest and $8.5 million for the U.S. Forest Service in the park to conduct law enforcement operations to combat drug activity. Traffickers/cultivators exploit Eastern Kentucky's national forest, which deters tourism and places visitors to this national treasure at-risk of assault or death.

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