Symposia to educate medical providers about prescription drug abuse and diversion will be conducted at four locations across Kentucky this spring.

These free “Kentucky Medical Communities UNITEd” forums – presented by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, and Operation UNITE – are scheduled for Morehead (April 13), Paintsville (April 27), Bowling Green (May 11) and Manchester (June 8).

PresentersPresenters at each location will be C. Loyd Vest II, general counsel for the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure; Dr. Gregory Jones, medical director for the Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation; and David Hopkins, KASPER Program manager within the Office of the Inspector General of Kentucky.

Among topics to be discussed are the new key requirements imposed by the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly (HB 1) and amendments enacted this year, identification of drug abuse and dependence in patients, assessing patients for addiction risk, explaining the KASPER (Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting) system, and evaluating the risks versus rewards of opioid therapy.

The symposia will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast and conclude at 3 p.m.

Locations for the symposia are:

  • April 13 – Morehead State University, view photos
  • April 27 – Ramada Inn, Paintsville
  • May 11 – Holiday Inn University Plaza Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green
  • June 8 – Eastern Kentucky University Center, Manchester

Participants in the training forums are eligible to receive 4.5 continuing education credit hours for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, dental hygienists, pharmacists, social workers, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors, psychologists and Certified Health Education Specialists.

The trainings have been approved by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Kentucky Board of Nursing, and Certified Health Education Specialists as meeting statutory requirements imposed by House Bill 1.

While there is no charge to attend, registration is required. Complete symposia information and on-line registration is available at or you may call 859-257-5320 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.

Our state is losing more than 80 lives each month to drug-related overdoses,” said Karen Kelly, director of Operation UNITE. “It is important to educate our medical providers about prescription drug abuse, and to increase awareness of this growing epidemic, in an effort to minimize or eliminate over-prescribing of medications, especially opiates.”

“Being able to recognize and respond to an addiction, learning how addicts are able to manipulate prescribers, understanding the value of participation in the KASPER program, and consideration of alternatives for medical and non-medical management of chronic pain are all important components of this training,” Kelly said. “Our legislators have taken an important step to ensure Kentucky is leading the charge against prescription drug abuse and diversion.”

For more information about registration, contact CE Central at 859-257-5320 or