Archive for Sunday, June 10, 2012

Underground prescription drugs an ‘epidemic’

Abuse of medicine increasing across Kansas

June 10, 2012


Top 10 prescriptions

Top 10 medication prescriptions filled by Kansas pharmacies in 2011, followed by the condition they treat:

• Vicodin with aspirin: 1.5 million, pain

• Ambien: 519,542, insomnia

• Xanax: 494,555, anxiety

• Ultram: 380,656, pain

• Percocet with aspirin: 329,585, pain

• Klonopin: 265,197, pain and seizures

• Ativan: 254,707, anxiety

• Adderall: 209,047, ADHD

• Percocet: 171,545, pain

• Ritalin: 158,625, ADHD

On a daily basis, people in Lawrence engage in an underground economy of selling and buying prescription pain medications, said a Douglas County mother of two.

“Dispersed all over town,” said the woman, who began abusing prescription pain medications like Oxycontin over the past couple of years. “It’s a huge epidemic.”

She did it all while raising two children and living a “regular life.”

“You would have no idea,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. She said she nearly died after an overdose of pain medications in September. Sometimes to avoid the withdrawal effects, the woman would pay up to $100 for one pill.

The abuse of such prescription pain medications — opioids derived from the same source as heroin — is increasing across the state, according to data obtained from the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy.

Four of the top 10 medications prescribed since 2010 in Kansas were pain medications, such as Vicodin and Percocet. Physicians prescribed more than 44 million pills of hydrocodone, the generic name for Vicodin, last year alone. All four of those medications have seen increases since 2010.

Deaths from opioid overdoses have increased fourfold since 1999, with 97 such deaths recorded in Kansas by hospitals in 2011.

The over-prescribing of such medications is creating addiction problems for patients across the country, said Richard Chapman, director of the University of Utah’s Pain Medication Research Center.

“People are prescribing opioids like crazy,” Chapman said. “It’s all over the country.”

Chapman said the rise in the past decade of prescriptions for pain medications started as a well-intentioned effort by doctors who saw the pain-relief benefits of such drugs on terminally ill cancer patients.

Doctors then began prescribing opioids for everything from arthritis to back pain.

A main issue with the increase in prescribing opioids for pain is a lack of controlled studies on their effects in non-cancer patients, Chapman said.

The increased use has caused a “host of complications we’d never imagine,” including decreased energy, and ironically an increased sensitivity to pain, Chapman said.

Jeff Sigler, a Lawrence pharmacist, said that in addition to a willingness by physicians to prescribe opioid medications for pain, societal shifts in how Americans tolerate pain has played a role in an increased use of opioids. Instead of toughing it out, people go to the doctor.

“Our society is less tolerant to pain than we used to be,” Sigler said.

And people are more sedentary, which can exacerbate back pain problems, one of the major ailments reported by those prescribed pain medications, Sigler said.

‘It’s a game’

Jan Campbell, an addictions psychiatrist at the Kansas University Medical Center, said common sense measures and guidelines for physicians can reduce opioid abuse. For instance, doctors who prescribe such medications need to thoroughly evaluate patients, requiring documentation of pain-related ailments and history. And doctors need to inform patients about the abuse potential of opioids and how to get help if they notice signs of addiction.

Several states, such as Florida, have enacted measures to prevent overprescribing, including requiring a blood test of patients so doctors can see whether a patient already has opioids in his or her system.

While those measures could cut down the number of people who “doctor shop” for opioids, it wouldn’t prevent all forms of abuse.

The Douglas County woman who struggled with opioid addiction bought her opioids from a man whose mother was legitimately prescribed Oxycontin for terminal cancer. The man’s mother would keep enough for her own supply and make thousands of dollars every month selling off hundreds of other pills.

When the woman’s supplier was out of the medications, getting them from another source was no problem.

“It’s a game,” she said, detailing the network of local people actively engaged daily in selling and using prescription opioids.

Her abuse and addiction just kept ratcheting up, and she needed more and more of the drugs to hold back withdrawal effects.

“It really took over,” she said.

She lost her job, her home and her car. As she approached rock bottom, she began scraping off — then shooting intravenously — the residue from a pain medication patch, which when worn slowly releases the drug into the body. When injected, the effects are quicker and more potent.

In September, she was rushed to a hospital after she stopped breathing while using opioids.

“I was dead,” said the woman, who required resuscitation. She remembers little of her weeks-long hospital stay or the overdose. “My body was done.”

Fear of losing custody of her two children provided enough incentive to get clean, said the woman, who hasn’t used opioids in eight months.

She’s slowly rebuilding the regular life she once had, hoping to put her time as an opioid addict behind here.

“It’s not easy,” she said.

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Top 10 in 2011

Graph shows the top 10 medication prescriptions filled in Kansas pharmacies in 2011. Date provided by the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy.

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Top 10 prescriptions

Chart shows the top 10 medications filled in Kansas in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The 2010 numbers are projected from six months of data, and the 2012 numbers are projected from four months of 2012 data. Information provided by the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy.

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Prescriptions 2011

This is a list of prescriptions filled by Kansas pharmacies in 2011. Data provided by the Kansas State Board of Pharmacy.


DRsmith 6 years ago

It's too bad these abusers make it a PITA for people who actually need it. Doctors pretty much have to treat everyone like their an addict these days.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

True that. I have documentation to prove that I need pain pills. It seems a bit much for those who are not having pain to judge someone who is having chronic pain.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

In bad news for choom gang: "..The British Lung Foundation carried out a survey of 1,000 adults and found a third wrongly believed cannabis did not harm health. And 88% incorrectly thought tobacco cigarettes were more harmful than cannabis ones - when the risk of lung cancer is actually 20 times higher..."

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

You're sounding sort of badger-like, mac. That's frowned upon here at this award-winning website these days.

RoeDapple 6 years ago

Only 7.7? You gots some catching' up to do!

<<<< (9.23)

kawrivercrow 6 years ago

I see your grubby little fingers desperately clutching at little bitty straws.

Just so you know, there are a host of studies that show NO increase in lung cancer amongst cannabis users compared to nonsmokers. Even if it did cause lung cancer, that is no reason to illegalize it.

Living in urban areas is known to cause a wide range of pulmonary diseases. Shall we illegalize that (cute little conundrum there duly noted)?

Red meat is known to cause colon cancer. Shall we illegalize that? Likewise, we could spend a lot of time talking about the Standard American Diet, and which elements obviously need to be outlawed, rather than subsidized.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

"Increases the risk of" does not mean "causes".

shadowlady 6 years ago

This doesn't apply to all, but I happen to know someone that is a prescription drug addict, (and that person will admit to it) and almost died AND there were times when her pills ran out that the Dr prescribed so she would go to this woman and get the underground prescription drugs. It is becoming an epidemic, and there needs to be crack down on this kind of thing.

mom_of_three 6 years ago

Look at Dr. Schneider in the Wichita area. Convicted of overprescribing painkillers which led to deaths of dozens of people. Some of them were just after the painkillers and accidents led to their deaths.Its too easy for the wrong people to get drugs and too hard for the right people.

mom_of_three 6 years ago

Look at Dr. Schneider in the Wichita area. Convicted of overprescribing painkillers which led to deaths of dozens of people. Some of them were just after the painkillers and accidents led to their deaths.Its too easy for the wrong people to get drugs and too hard for the right people.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

“Our society is less tolerant to pain than we used to be,” Sigler said.

This statement made me see red.
The intolerance isn't people being intolerant to pain, it's the intolerance of people like Sigler for people in pain. The US under treats pain to a horrifying degree, all because of a puritanical fear of opioids. I have known people in chronic pain so severe that they committed suicide rather than face another day of it. (One woman who had no bladder and had multiple complications from a car accident literally jumped from the fourth story of a parking garage after visiting her doctor and being turned down for the umpteenth time.) I know another person who landed in the hospital in liver failure from over dosing on acetaminophen because her doctor refused to prescribe pain medication for her. She tried to control her pain as best she could and she almost accidentally killed herself because of it. People in Europe look at the way Americans treat pain and they are horrified at what they perceive as the cruelty and inhumanity of, not just the way the medical community treats it, but the way Americans perceive it (when they aren't the ones feeling it). As for there being "no studies in the use of opioids in the treatment of chronic pain", there are studies out the wazoo. They just aren't American studies and they don't incorporate our peculiar and cruel attitude toward pain. As far as Europeans are concerned, chronic pain is just that, chronic and it will never go away. Given that, who cares if someone becomes addicted to their pain medication? They won't be able to live without it anyway. They are also far more proactive with it, encouraging people to take their pain medication even when they aren't hurting so they can stay that way and stay functional. This is a far more pragmatic, practical and humane way of viewing it.

Louis White 6 years ago

I agree. This is what makes me resent so much people who are gaming the system for drugs.

whats_going_on 6 years ago

I work in a pharmacy, and considering that the top selling drugs are now pain killers, I think there is some truth to people being "less tolerant" to pain.

If you think about it...people need to go to the doctor for EVERYTHING nowadays. Have a sore throat? Better get some pain killers. Got a bruise? Better get a pain patch. It's ridiculous.

Of course, his comment wasn't meant to condemn everyone who may actually have pain. Obviously, chronic pain exists. But you can't deny that people abuse it.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

How much of that has to do with other factors, though? We have an aging population as the baby boomers move toward retirement, people are living longer (and thus have pain issues associated with aging). And how many of those pain killers are non-opiates? There have been huge advances made in arthritis drugs with the Cox2 inhibitors. Plus, there is also a new class of controlled drugs on the market that are considered "narcotics" but aren't opiates. I'm thinking of the SSRI classes like tramadol. There is even a new class 2 on the market that is a SSRI/SNRI combo. These drugs are being marketed by the pharma companies that make them. Is it any wonder that sales of pain killers are through the roof? There may even be a cultural component to it, as people now are willing and able to express when they have pain and no longer feel constrained by the puritanical stoicism of their parents.

shadowlady 6 years ago

1+++++++++++++++++, I live with pain everyday, and there are times, I can't hardly move, I hurt so bad, but I keep at it, and the next day or so it is somewhat better. I've seen first hand what to much drugs can do from loved ones taking to much, so I guess that has helped me to refrain from doing the same.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Hey! A lousy, rotten spammer posting lousy, rotten spam.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

Thank you cait for the excellent post. I must have an unusual doctor because when I told him that OTC pain pill were not doing enough he prescribed something that works. He also told me to keep them in my system instead of waiting until the pain is really bad.
Of course I also have the CT scans, MRI's, and x rays to prove their is something physically wrong that is causing the pain. But, I agree with you 100%. I have had people ask how long I will have to take my meds and I never know quite what to say. It is none of your business, comes to mind, but that would be rude.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

The problem is that these are the very doctors that are being slammed in this article. They are being painted as passing out pain pills with a liberal hand and actually being the cause of the street drug problem. One wonders how those drugs make their way to the street. Could it be because someone on a "fixed income" can see the opportunity to make a little cash and pay their electric bill, even if it means they have to live in pain for few days until they can get a new script? Nah, people wouldn't choose pain over keeping the lights and water on or having the money to fill other prescriptions, now would they?

George_Braziller 6 years ago

Not all doctors are so free with their prescriptions. I have a REALLY high tolerance for pain so when I finally have to take something for it I need something that will work. I only hit the maximum pain threshold a few times a year.

I have a bottle of hydrocodone from my doctor I keep in reserve but they don't even take off the edge when I need some relief for a chronic back problem. Might as well be eating jelly beans.

There were a few times I would have traded the entire bottle for one pill that did work just so I could sleep through the night.

whats_going_on 6 years ago

You wouldnt' believe how many people I see on a daily basis who quite obviously aren't in pain (perhaps they used to be?), but come in for pain pills. Those who doctor shop, or whose doctors just can't take their relentless screaming/crying phone calls and random visits anymore, and just prescribe them to get these people off their back (not to say that all doctors are like this, but they ARE out there!). Lets face it...a 20 something otherwise healthy invididual, who had a slight fracture 2 years ago, and still "needs" to take Percocet 6 times daily? 98% chance it's bull. Especially when they call a week before the refill is due BEGGING to get it early.

Maybe they NEED to pay their phone bill or their electric bill, sure, some might, but honestly...why should a phone bill be $500 a month?

No one is saying that ALL doctors do this, but trust me, it happens.

Heck, I've been given Lortab for stuff that I probably shouldn't have needed Lortab for. And I didn't even ask for of those non-opiods probably would have sufficed. Maybe doctors nowadays just assume that those drugs aren't good enough (BECAUSE of those people who absolutely NEED it every month for no real reason?)

kawrivercrow 6 years ago

My mother died of MM, also. MM is a bone cancer and leukemia all rolled into of the worse death sentences a person can receive (survival rates are so minuscule that calling it a 'treatable' disease is merely a word game).

Unfortunately, the usual narcotic abuser has nothing in common with the cancer patient. Most got their start by the liberal dispensation of short-acting opioids for minor musculoskeletal complaints like lower back pain and knee/shoulder pain. This was facilitated by a sociopolitical movement in the early 90's by healthcare providers (chiefly 'activist' nurses with backup up by Big Pharma) , to loosen up the standards for chronic pain that then began polluting the environment of acute pain treatment. I was an RN back then, watching the whole transition while listening to older & wiser nurses warn us all that the movement was going to have catastrophic long-term consequences. Now, having lost more than one friend and colleague to Rx drug abuse, I can fully appreciate what they were saying.

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

I had a molar pulled the other day, and received a scrip for hydrocodone/acetaminophen for whatever pain would occur once the Novocaine wore off. I went to get it filled, and the cost was SIXTY CENTS. I know people who are buying cancer drugs at $1000 a DOSE and I'm getting seriously addictive drugs for pennies.

I think that if medicine is going to SAVE YOUR LIFE it should be affordable. If it's just going to make your mouth stop hurting (or in my case- send you into a spiral of dizziness, nausea and sweating- note to self- opiods = bad) then it should cost more.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Great. So the drug companies make even bigger profits. Or are you suggesting that it be taxed. And what about the folks with no insurance who have cancer?

Aileen Dingus 6 years ago

The $1000 per dose was for someone who did have insurance. I too, have insurance, hence my sixty cent scrip.

What I'm saying is that maybe things are a little out of whack.

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Great. So the drug companies make even bigger profits. Or are you suggesting that it be taxed. And what about the folks with no insurance who have cancer?

Bob Forer 6 years ago

Great. So the drug companies make even bigger profits. Or are you suggesting that it be taxed. And what about the folks with no insurance who have cancer?

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

I thank God I am not in a position where I have to chose between my meds and paying for something else. I am on a fixed income, but, knock on wood, manage to pay the rent and keep the utilities on. True, I can't watch television because I can't afford cable and I buy the discount monthly fare for the bus. Also true that it is easier to be poor as an old person, meaning over sixty-two, than to be young, working a dead end job with a family to take care of, because we do get perks. I would tell everyone in their twenties, please, please start now to exercise and watch what you eat because that will make a huge difference later on. There are conditions that happen to the fittest people, but some illnesses can be prevented. Of course, when I was twenty I didn't listen to advice so here I am. Just look at me and see yourself as me. That should get you moving.

verity 6 years ago

Totally off topic and this depends on where you live, but you may be able to get a HDTV signal with an antenna. You can go to this website and see what kind of coverage you can get in your area.

I get all the channels I need except for Comedy Central with a rabbit ears antenna. Sometimes the weather interferes, but most of the time I get excellent reception. Certainly saves a lot of money.

woodscolt 6 years ago

I find verity to be 100% right on that. I get cable and have a $40 antennae. The quality of picture and the HD is way better on the antennae. Also, there are more local channels available on free antennae than local channels offered by cable or satellite. Oh wait, now back to the topic of the article.

whats_going_on 6 years ago

yep we have a digital antenna as well. We only get a few channels, but it works. We also have Hulu and Netflix though. $20 for those two beats the insane cost of cable any day!

JerryStubbs 6 years ago

I have found that the TV makes a lot of difference, my Samsung gets excellent reception while another does not with the same antenna.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years ago

You can get plenty of TV on the internet. For example, BBC World News Television is live twenty-for hour a day. Try For French news television live try Also try

There are many more choices. I know that you have a strong interest for world news, so these are starters to look at.

verity 6 years ago

I watch Stewart and Colbert on the internet. The problem with that is that I get to my download limit very fast. Is there any way to get around that? It seems like I should be able to watch more than a few shows with 5GB.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

I used to know a person that had a problem with abusing prescription pain killers. He also had a drinking problem. One time, he was less than 5 minutes from death. See my comments following this article for the details of that exciting event:

He had the most excellent job possible for someone with a prescription drug habit. It was his job to collect the medications for deceased patients at a large hospital, flush them, and sign that they had been disposed of.

Yes, they certainly were disposed of, but not quite the way they were supposed to be. He had a fantastic collection, I saw it once. They were all different colors, many dozens of colors, hundreds of pills, and they were actually quite pretty scattered all over the black and white linoleum tile. The picture was completed by his passed out body on the kitchen floor, and his dog gingerly stepping over him to go get a drink of water.

I thought to myself, '(TOS violation), not again! I've got to move out of here!'

That was before the time he almost died. He did something amazing once. There is a extremely powerful painkiller called Fentanyl. It is available in a transdermal patch, to administer a very low dose over a period of time. He used a scissors to cut off one end of the patch, and licked the jell while he was drinking. He lived.

Then, quite a long time after I had moved out, I was told he had moved a long ways away, over 1,000 miles, and was now off the painkillers, didn't handle the disposal or handling of them, and so there wasn't a problem anymore.

The next thing I heard, he had lost his job and license, for swiping pills. Now he is a bartender. I am sure that his present income has necessitated a severe change in his lifestyle.

The Moral Of The Story: Do not trust the fox to guard the hen house.

Jean Robart 6 years ago

Gee, Ron, you're just chock full of goodness and light, aren't you? I saw a doctor in March for severe and unrelenting pain, and without useing these terms, he told me to suck it up. I would go back to see him again(he's part of a group practice I see my doctor), but I can't afford the amount I would have to pay for an office visit, since I have an obscene deductible before coverage kicks in.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

That's for sure! Somehow, I tended to attract losers. But, I think I have all of the losers out of my life now.

verity 6 years ago

Interesting and, in a lot of cases, sad stories, but does anybody have any ideas about how to solve the problem of prescription drugs getting on the street or into the wrong hands?

Are there other methods of control for some kinds of pain that we are not exploring?

How much are doctor's responsible for this? I know when I've had some procedure, dental or medical, the doctor/dentist automatically gives me a prescription without asking if I want it. I never have it filled because, for some reason, I rarely feel much pain (not a high tolerance, I don't tolerate pain well, I just don't often have it).

This obviously is a serious problem, both for those who need the medication and for those who become addicts, but there doesn't seem to be any good ideas about how to solve it.

whats_going_on 6 years ago


I think we just need a solid software in place to track these drugs. Doesn't seem all that difficult.

akt2 6 years ago

It's pretty easy for physicians to track medication fills these days in Kansas. It's called KTRAC. It will show every medication filled by a patient. The date filled, the date the script was written, what physician wrote it and the quantity filled. If they're doctor shopping or getting narcotic meds from a couple different doctors the proof is right there. No excuses, no exceptions. Patient care is terminated.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

Sometimes a big glass of cold water helps a bit.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

Why do people drink alcohol? Maybe because it helps them relax and forget about the stresses of life for just a little while. Could it be they're completely satisfied with their life, but a little bored too? There should be no escaping reality! Adrenaline is to be saved for life or flight situations only. No television either. No movies! No sports!

phoggyjay 6 years ago

Stick with cannabis, not prescription pills. Vaporize...

jonas_opines 6 years ago

Only in your mind, so broken by the 2008 election.

So sad.

Liberty275 6 years ago

Between kidney and knee afflictions last year I took a few hundred codones, oxy or hydro. I had no problem with them and they made what was some pretty nasty pain go away. No withdrawals ever, but they do mess up your ability to rid your body of waste. If I have more pain, I'll get more. Otherwise, I have no need for them.

Junkies, don't mess it up for the rest of us. Get your stuff together, and don't give those legislative kneejerks any reason to make getting an effective pain reliever harder.

I'll have to fly in September which means Xanax... and lots of it. Last flight, we had a hard landing at Reagan International. Everyone else was white with fear, and I couldn't care less whether we crashed or not. You gotta love a drug like that.

jafs 6 years ago

For those who believe that drugs should be legal, what's the justification for limiting prescription drugs?

verity 6 years ago

That is an interesting question.

So many questions, so few answers.

Usually I have an opinion on things, but the whole question of drugs baffles me.

jafs 6 years ago

I mean folks like the libertarians, who believe that all drugs should be legal.

I'm pretty sure they wouldn't like for the government to regulate how much pot they could buy if it were legal.

Why are prescription drugs different?

People can buy 150 proof rum - they're not limited to wine or beer.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

Prescription drugs are controlled so drug companies can set the price and control the recipe.

Liberty275 6 years ago

I think there are two types of drugs, those that will kill you now and those that will kill you later, given a dosage of about five times the norm. That's about the limit for acetaminophen. Anything that can kill you quickly at about 5 times the normal dosage should be prescription-only, so you can be evaluated before being allowed to have the drugs. Anything not deadly in the short term at 5 times the normal dosage should be freely available to all adults.

Anyone convicted of a violent crime receives no access to any substance subject to the FDA unless it is deemed medically necessary by a physician. The rest of you want meth, oxycodone or cocaine for a little buzz? See the doctor, show him you are able to control your actions and make lucid decisions. He'll write the RX. Want pot? Go to walmart and get it. It's next to the Ensure.

The justification is stopping people from accidentally killing themselves by using the drug improperly.

jafs 6 years ago

That might be reasonable, but it's hardly consistent with the "adults should be free to make their own decisions, good or bad" philosophy.

People can walk into a liquor store and buy 150 proof rum without any particular hoops to jump through - that can easily be deadly.

Folks who drink themselves to death probably aren't doing it on purpose - that's also accidental. Should we now require some sort of evaluation before letting people buy alcohol?

verity 6 years ago

Damn, jafs, you're making too much sense.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

There is one primary evaluation in place already, jafs, it's called your age. If the barkeeper asks, you'll have to prove you meet the requirements (set in place by the government) by showing him your license, i.d., or papers.

jafs 6 years ago

You must have missed the "adults" part of my post.

Nobody advocates for children to be able to get any sort of substances they want, as far as I know.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

No, I didn't miss the 'adults' in your post. I focused on your last question: "Should we now require some sort of evaluation before letting people buy alcohol?" There is already a required evaluation to buy alcohol, which I pointed out in my previous post... Have a great day!

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

Life is a sexually transmitted terminal illness. Live it up!

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

I like your plan, but it may have a tendency to negate Darwinism and slow the evolution of our species. Regardless, your scheme is far better than the militarized-police/prison state we are currently being subjected to in order to "keep us safe" from ourselves. You have my vote.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Once I've posted the same text and set of links more than 100 times on this award-winning website, I'll consider myself a spammer. Until then, not so much.

camper 6 years ago

My opinion is that if you have pain and require medication, think of treating two things.....your injury and dependence prevention. I have always had a slight withdrawl effect after completing a prescription. I think doctors can help by rotating medication to lessen the risk of addiction.....but I imagine it is important to ask your doctor.

outoftownmonday 6 years ago

Here's another clever way addicts get prescription narcotics - THEY STEAL THEM!!!!!! We live in a very well known apartment complex in town. There was a rash of home invasions, over a couple of years, where the only thing taken was the persons prescription medications. Now, the dots were not connected until the person was caught red handed inside someones apartment where she was not supposed to be. The person is the property managers DAUGHTER!!!!! She is the suspect in DOZENS (over 30) police reported burglaries where the only thing taken was narcotics. Her MO was to knock on the door and if no one answered she would enter using the master keys that she had access to through her parents who are the property managers. She has not been charged because she was never caught red handed with drugs in her possession so I will not post her name here. What is disturbing is that her parents continue to be property managers for these properties (multiple) so she basically still has access to keys. She has been issued no trespassing warnings for all of the properties, however, she is an addict and we all know how desparate addicts are. I am not confident at all that she is not still entering peoples homes and stealing from them.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Legalize everything and put a Stop and Pop on every corner. Thanks to the inevitable ODs, the number of hypes and hopheads would start to diminish.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

Darwinism at its finest. Hopheads? Do you mean beer drinkers?

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

It's an archaic term for choomers.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

thuja - I'm from St. Francis, Kansas, the small town, population about 1,500, that made national news in 1992, and there is even a 'History' episode titled 'American Justice: A Questionable Doctor' about the event. I have it on both VHS and DVD.

Synopsis: Dr. Stan Naramore gave a dose of morphine to Mrs. Ruth Leach, one of his terminal cancer patients, because she complained of horrible pain. At the time, her life expectancy was perhaps 2 days.

Her son, Jim Leach, was a paramedic and present at the time.

He thought that she was being given too much morphine, and stated: “I’d rather my mother lay there and suffer for ten more days than you do anything to speed up her death.”

After that, Dr. Naramore decided he did not want to continue with Mrs. Leach’s care, and arranged for her transfer to another hospital. She received additional morphine at the new hospital, and died a few days later.

Some of the townspeople became very upset, partly because of that, and also because a lot of people didn't like him very much, and put Dr. Naramore on trial for the death of Mrs. Leach and also because he shut off the mechanical ventilator of a patient that he and another physician had already pronounced dead.

He was convicted of two counts of 1st degree murder, and ended up in prison for a while.

On appeal, there was not another trial, instead the three appellate court judges chose to dismiss the charges altogether.

Then, Dr. Naramore's medical license was reinstated.

Later, there was new legislation passed in Kansas that requires a medical review by professionals before small towns can convict physicians of murder for prescribing pain medication.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

There's an error there: Dr. Naramore was convicted of attempted murder, not murder, because his script for morphine was not administered. So, Mrs. Leach lived a few more days.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

But at least, Dr. Naramore wasn't lynched. St. Francis has the dubious distinction of being part of the last lynching in Kansas, on April 19, 1932. Prior to that, there had not been a lynching in Kansas since 1920.

Richard Read was kidnapped from the jail in St. Francis by a mob that encountered no reported resistance from the sheriff, and hanged without a trial.

Crazy_Larry 6 years ago

Let's have a War on Prescription Drugs! Send the jackboots to Rush Limbaugh's house asap. Kick in the door, shoot the dog, and shoot Rush when he attempts to defend himself from the home invaders with a golf club. Make it so!

booyalab 6 years ago

We already have a war on prescription drugs. It's called the FDA.

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