At the Feb. 23 roundtable, Chandler focused on the importance of supporting the efforts of small counties and local law enforcement to fight prescription pill abuse. Through his invitation, Perdue attended the roundtable and met Kerlikowske.
“It is so important to have discussions like we had yesterday with multiple groups and across party lines,” Chandler said in a statement. “But we also need to remember that our small communities are a critical part of that discussion. Our small towns and counties are the ones on the front lines, and they carry much of the burden of this epidemic. Sheriff Perdue’s perspective on the issue was greatly appreciated.”
“Myself and a couple other sheriffs talked with (Kerlikowske) for a couple minutes,” Perdue said. “I think the main thing that the roundtable discussion is its brought this problem to the forefront and made people aware of the problem we’re suffering in this state. If nothing else, it’s put the spotlight on it.”
Chandler also focused his remarks on the KASPER system which he helped create in 1999. KASPER, the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system, is a prescription pill monitoring program.
Because of its success in Kentucky, the program was used as a national model for NASPER, the National All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting system. NASPER was signed into law in 2005, and never received full funding.
“I am so glad Director Kerlikowske came to Kentucky and sparked this conversation. It was one we desperately needed to have,” Chandler said. “We are facing a drug epidemic in Central Kentucky, and this isn’t a problem that local sheriffs, Chrysalis House, UK, KASPER, or even the federal government can fight on their own. We all have to work together on all levels from local, to state, to federal to fight this epidemic. Today was a big first step.”