drugs

TOPEKA, Kansas — More than two dozen cities and counties across Kansas have sued the opioid industry, from a small town with a population of 150 near the Colorado border to the state’s most populous county at its opposite end.

More may still file suits, legal experts say. And those that don’t could get a payout regardless if opioid makers, distributors and vendors opt for a global settlement. That would not only end the massive snarl of lawsuits brought by 2,600 parties nationwide but also prevent tens of thousands of other local governments from taking them to court, too.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Two years after closing an office in Garden City, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced this week it’s coming back to town.

The agency’s new setup comes at a time when methamphetamine seizures are on the rise in Finney County and the area’s seen some drug-related shootings. Plus, states are grappling with the fallout of billions of opioids distributed throughout the U.S., and western Kansas has few drug rehabilitation options.

A newly released database shows that Leavenworth County, Kansas, had one of the highest concentrations of opioid pills per person in the United States between 2006 and 2012.

While those numbers might suggest a hidden calamity in eastern Kansas, the vast majority of those pills were actually processed by a Veteran’s Administration fullfillment center, rather than distributed locally, according to the data.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Sedgwick County is adding a new full-time position within the Sheriff’s Office to work on the growing problem of jail inmates who have drug or alcohol addictions.

Safe Streets Wichita Lands Grant To Fight Drug Use

Sep 10, 2018
Safe Streets Facebook

Safe Streets Wichita will receive a $125,000 grant annually for the next five years to prevent illegal drug use in Wichita.

More than 72,000 people died last year in the United States due to substance abuse. Safe Streets’ goal is to prevent or reduce that type of abuse.

That’s done by heightening awareness of the problem and other methods — for example, putting prescription drug disposal lockboxes at secure locations and coaching at-risk youth to live positive lifestyles, said Danielle Ramirez of Safe Streets.

Several members of a task force formed by Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer to address the opioid crisis claim his refusal to consider Medicaid expansion undermines their work.

fda.gov

Law enforcement officials in Sedgwick County and across Kansas will collect leftover medications on Saturday.

Since the Drug Take-Back Day program started in 2010, more than 65 tons of medication in Kansas have been collected.

Drop-off sites will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. There are 10 sites in Sedgwick County, including in Maize, Goddard, Haysville, Cheney and Derby.

The event is conducted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which will collect and dispose of the medications.

Harvest Public Media/File photo

Lawmakers in the Kansas House rejected an effort Monday to allow medical marijuana in the state.

But they advanced a plan to allow the sale of some products made from cannabis — if the high-producing compounds have been removed.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Gov. Jeff Colyer is creating a task force to study ways to fight drug abuse in Kansas through prevention and treatment. He signed an executive order Thursday bringing together the heads of 16 state agencies, as well as medical professionals and law enforcement.

Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

Junkie logic brought an addict to the doorsteps of a Topeka woman once convicted of selling cocaine.

The addict was looking to buy, and Kansas’ online database of criminal offenders has a handy geographic search tool that lets users pull up the names, crimes and addresses of people who live within a few miles of their homes.

It’s meant to boost public safety, but the Kansas Sentencing Commission says other consequences come with publishing the past transgressions of nearly 20,000 Kansans.

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