Kentucky is known for horse races, dogwood trees and bluegrass; but in recent years, it has become the leading state in meth-related drug addictions and deaths. The use of meth in Kentucky reportedly increases about 1.8 percent a year, with roughly 500 people checked into rehabilitation centers for meth-related overdoses or addictions.

How It Spreads

As in most states, studies show that the age range checking into rehab centers for various addictions is most commonly 25-50, which includes the Baby Boomer generation and their children. The most common explanation for the increase in these generations' substance abuse issues is that they were exposed to them before or during puberty, just as illegal substances were weaving their way into popular culture.

Most habits like alcoholism and tobacco use can be traced back to children watching their parents drink and smoke. When it comes to harder substances such as cocaine and amphetamines, the most plausible explanation is that they are just more widely available now than ever before. Teenagers have easy access to them in high school and college, while adults can easily get their hands on prescription drugs from their friends or their co-workers.

Drugs In Kentucky

Meth is the largest problem currently facing Kentucky's citizens. The state's history will show that this section of the country was once the leader in meth production. The deep forests and abundance of small towns created the perfect setting for producers to hide their facilities well.

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In recent years, statistics have begun to veer away from the drug, not because it is decreasing in abuse, but because another is emerging among the younger generation. This “epidemic" (as described by the Kentucky State Police Force) is the abuse of prescription drugs.

Roughly 7 million Americans are abusing prescriptions drugs, as reported by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the majority of which are between the ages of 17 and 24. Kentucky is one of the leading states in prescription drug-related deaths, with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services stating that there were 485 in 2011 alone.

Fighting The Problem

Prescription drugs are difficult to fight because, for many cases seen in Kentucky, the defendant claims that the drugs were prescribed to somebody in the addict's home, if not the addict themselves. There have been multiple arrests made within the last few years, many of them surprisingly within the local police forces for the distribution of pain killers and sedatives. The state has even set up a Drug Court to offer an addiction-sensitive approach to law enforcement.

When it comes to the younger generations, officials ask the parents and the peers to take charge and help anyone they see showing signs of an addiction, whether it be alcohol or stronger substances. The Kentucky State website lists multiple resources that can help people suffering from substance addictions, as well as their friends and families.