Van Ingram, Executive Director
Van Ingram is the Executive Director for the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. Van joined ODCP in November 2004, shortly after it was created with the mission of coordinating Kentucky’s substance abuse efforts in enforcement, treatment and prevention/education.
Van served with the Maysville Kentucky Police Department for more than 23 years, the last six as Chief of Police. He is a former President of the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, and was named “Kentucky Chief of the Year” in 2001. He is the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Law Enforcement, as well as, the Melvin Shein Award for distinguished service to Kentucky law enforcement.
Van is a certified law enforcement instructor and has trained officers across the state on a variety of topics, including community oriented policing, case management, and “Kentucky Substance Abuse Issues” for Chiefs, Sheriff’s and command staff. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of substance abuse issues both in Kentucky and nationally.
To contact Van, you can do so by emailing him at Van.Ingram@ky.gov
||The Heroin Epidemic
There's a new drug of choice in
Heroin has had a resurgence in our nation and Kentucky is no exception. Especially hit hard have been Northern Kentucky, Louisville, and Lexington raising fears that a heroin scourge will soon ravage the entire Commonwealth.
Heroin – known by the nicknames such as Black Tar, Big H. Dog, Horse, and Puppy Chow, is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin can be injected, smoked in a water pipe, inhaled as smoke through a straw, or snorted as powder through the nose.
Police in Louisville and the Northern Kentucky suburbs of Cincinnati said they began seeing more heroin as early as four years ago, but it was in the last 12 months that heroin had increased dramatically.
A key driver behind the uptick in heroin abuse was the reformulation of two widely abused prescription pain drugs, making them harder to crush and snort. Drug manufacturers reformulated OxyContin in 2010 and Opana in 2011.
A growing number of young people who began abusing expensive prescription drugs are switching to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to buy. The reason may come down to basic economics: illegally obtained prescription pain killers have become more expensive and harder to get, while the price and difficulty in obtaining heroin have decreased. An 80 mg OxyContin pill runs between $60 to $100 on the street. Heroin costs about $9 a dose. Even among heavy heroin abusers, a day’s worth of the drug is cheaper than a couple hits of Oxy.
To impact the problem, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy will continue to work towards increased public education, increased access to treatment, enhanced penalties for major traffickers, and greater access to naloxone.
 As of the date of this report the 2013 final overdose death statistics were not yet available.
Attorney General Jack Conway and the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy have jointly released a public service announcement (PSA) to increase awareness of heroin abuse among young people and to warn their parents of the signs.
The 30-second PSA, http://youtu.be/leznM7P2O0g, depicts a young woman in a morgue who describes how easy it has been to hide her heroin habit from her parents—that is until she becomes an overdose victim.
||I Am the Face of Addiction
A powerful PSA by the students of The Performer's Academy on the prescription drug and heroin epidemic in this country. Every 19 minutes we lose one life to an rx overdose. The face of today's heroin addict is quite different from years ago. The national age of overdosing is between 18-25 years of age. Please get informed.
||2013 The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study
The 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), sponsored by MetLife Foundation, reports on the attitudes and behavior of teens and parents at a significant time in our culture's relationship with drugs and substance abuse.
Through this report, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids informs healthcare professionals, educators, community leaders, the news media, and families about current patterns in adolescent use and misuse of drugs and alcohol, including marijuana, performance -enhancing substances and prescription medicine.
Although the "drug landscape" is changing for parents and teens alike, its important to note that parents still have considerable influence on their teens' decision.
Key Marijuana Findings:
· Almost half of teens (44 percent) report using marijuana at least once within their lifetime; more than one in three (36 percent) report using in the past year; one in four (24 percent) report using within the past month; and 7 percent report using at least 20 times within the past month. These levels have remained basically flat over the past five years.
· More than four in ten teens (41 percent) who have used marijuana started doing so before the age of 15. This is worrisome considering that those who initiate marijuana use at a younger age are more likely to use marijuana – as well as other substances – more frequently than those who begin using at an older age.
· Hispanic and African American teens are also more likely to report using marijuana than their Caucasian counterparts (with 52 percent, 54 percent, and 39 percent indicating use, respectively).
Key Prescription Drug Abuse & Over-The-Counter Cough Medicine Findings:
· Misuse and abuse of prescription medicine continues to be the third most prevalent drug abuse behavior among teens, following use of marijuana and alcohol. Almost one in four teens (23 percent) reports abusing or misusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, and one in six (16 percent) reports doing so within the past year (as depicted below). In addition, Hispanic and African-American teens are more likely to report misusing or abusing prescription drugs compared to their Caucasian counterparts (with 27 percent, 29 percent, and 20 percent indicating use, respectively).
· One notable exception was over-the-counter cough medicine. Teens reported an increase in lifetime ("ever tried") use of OTC cough medicine to get high – from 12 percent in 2012 to 15 percent in 2013. Past year and past month usage was unchanged.
Key Alcohol Findings:
· The new PATS data show that fewer teens report drinking alcohol in the past year or past month. Past-year alcohol use has declined significantly versus last year, from 57 percent in 2012 to 51 percent in 2013, and past-month alcohol use has declined gradually but significantly from 39 percent in 2009 to 35 percent in 2013.
||HB217 Makes Common Sense Improvements to House Bill 1