Stateline Midwest ~ April 2012


A sharp rise in the theft of copper and other metals is occurring across the country, and parts of the Midwest have become a hub of this activity.

The House Judiciary Committee on July 18 passed a bill extending the authorization of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act through 2017.

More and more frequently, state and territorial attorneys general are at the forefront of dealing with great issues of the day, from combating human trafficking to enforcing consumer protection and cyberspace laws. With each year, attorneys general face additional challenges and legal landscapes. In 2012, attorneys general are shining a light on modern day slavery, as well as continuing to fight financial fraud. Additionally, Election Day 2012 will bring at least five new state attorneys general and another five who are seeking re-election.

Telling numbers illustrate the need for action with regard to prescription drug abuse.

  • The rate of prescription drug abuse in Kentucky has doubled among men and tripled among women in the past 10 years. 
  • Florida estimates suggest as many as seven people overdose daily on prescription drugs.
  • Deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states.
  • Nearly one-third of all people age 12 and older who abuse drugs for the first time abuse prescription drugs.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) hosted a webinar highlighting the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  During the March 7 session participants heard from two subject matter experts about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, state sponsored prescription monitoring programs, and CSG’s efforts to develop a prescription monitoring compact that would allow states to securely share prescription drug data across state lines.  

Prescription drug abuse continues to be recognized as the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.  The latest “Monitoring the Future” study from the University of Michigan indicated that prescription drugs are second only to marijuana in their frequency of abuse. In Kentucky, the rate of overdoses from prescription drugs doubled among men and tripled among women between 2000 and 2009. In Florida, estimates suggest as many as seven people are dying daily from accidental overdoses. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states.

A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found prescription medication abuse is a significant societal health issue, with more Americans abusing prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined. It also found that one in five teens will abuse a prescription medication at least once in their lifetime.  Preventing prescription drug abuse and misuse, an epidemic in our country, is one of the key strategic priorities of the Cardinal Health Foundation.

While CSG supports efforts by Congress to promote economic growth by safeguarding intellectual property, it has not endorsed either the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) currently being considered in Congress. 

Consider these statistics from the CDC’s first National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, released this week: “1 in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner while 1 in 7 men experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.”

The 2010 survey is the first year of the survey and provides baseline data that will be used to track trends in sexual violence, stalking and intimate partner violence. It includes detailed state tables that give “lifetime estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence.” Here is Suggested State Legislation on domestic violence.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 16 approved the first gun-related effort since the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January. House Resolution 822 would create a national standard for the right to carry concealed firearms, effectively allowing nonresidents of a state to carry a concealed weapon as long as the person possesses a concealed weapons permit from any of the other 49 states.