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Zoeller: Problem-solving courts may help fight Rx abuse

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said a newly formed prescription drug abuse task force will examine whether special problem-solving courts may be a venue for fighting prescription painkiller abuse.

Zoeller announced the initiative in a statement Friday, a day after he attended a graduation ceremony for defendants who successfully completed the Adult Drug Court program in Clark Superior Court 2 in Jeffersonville, where Judge Jerry Jacobi presides.

“In supporting greater resources for specialty courts, one of my goals will be to examine the effectiveness and possible expansion of drug courts, veteran courts and other problem-solving courts that recognize the underlying root causes of some crimes and help offenders to resolve them,” Zoeller said in a statement. “This approach gives certain types of offenders the opportunity and motivation to live productive, crime-free lives in the future.

“In addition to the problems with illegal drugs, prescription painkiller abuse is an epidemic according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Zoeller said. “We must focus on treatment and alternatives to incarceration as a priority, and the possible expansion of drug courts could play an important role. I believe this is a worthwhile concept that the Legislature should have the opportunity to learn more about.”

On Sept. 24, Zoeller announced formation of a prescription drug abuse task force to examine the problem of abuse and diversion of addictive prescription medications. The group consists of 60 people representing law enforcement, public health, the legislative branch, social services and pharmacists.

The task force, which Zoeller chairs, will recommend changes to state laws and regulations in advance of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Smaller committees within the task force will study specific issues. Zoeller said the task force will look at using specialty court supervision programs such as drug courts in the treatment of prescription drug abuse and addiction. If those are found effective, then the task force would offer recommendations on how such programs might be developed in counties where they don’t exist.

 

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  • RX DRugs
    Well, I see the state of Indiana has found yet a nother way to squander (WASTE) our tax dollars. Presciption drug task force, what a joke, no state or federal agency will ever win the war on drugs, legal or illegal. Every time you take a 1 dealer down, 10 more take his place. Governments think they can solve every problem by passing a law. There are so many laws on the books that even the people that wrote and/or enacted the laws, don't know what the laws are. In addition to that every member of congress, the senate and the supreme court has violated the law, it may have been speeding, not making a complete stop at a stop sign etc. The fact is if you write or enact laws, you are a hypocrite of you break any law, no matter how minor it is!

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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