From this week's LEO:
When coming down is a good thing
Kentucky, which helped OxyContin earn the nickname “hillbilly heroin,” got the surprising news from the Drug Enforcement Administration last week that its national ranking in prescription-painkiller purchases has dropped to 43rd. While experts hailed the trend, the monkey isn’t exactly sliding off the commonwealth’s back: Purchases aren’t down; rather the rate of increase in purchases dropped.
Thanks in part to pharma-to-physician payola, sales of painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and morphine increased here 62 percent between 1997 and 2005, compared to 88 percent for the nation as a whole, proving that Americans are roughly as high as Samuel Taylor Coleridge at the pleasure-dome’s after-party. War-on-Drugs officials cautioned that painkiller abuse is still widespread in Kentucky, but they did agree to drop the alert status from “Elvis” to “Limbaugh.”