Passion to help curb drug woes leads Arla to places across U.S.

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By Thomas Barr

 HILLVIEW – Dr. Praveen Arla never got involved in the effort for publicity.

And he never did it for any honors.

But his work in the area of prescription pill abuse and the laws governing their distribution did indeed earn the local doctor both notoriety and recognition for his efforts.

Arla, who works with his father’s medical practice in Hillview, was saluted by the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association for his work to help that group, as well as the effort of drug enforcement activities throughout the state during its annual meeting.

With a lot of energy, Arla jumped into the state and national efforts several years ago. He knew laws dealing with prescription drugs had to be pro-active and he felt he could give the perspective of both the doctor and the patient.

“I never knew I would get this involved,” said Arla. “It has been rewarding.”

With his volunteer efforts taking him across the country, Arla said he has been impressed with the local Partners in Prevention and the Bullitt County Health Department.

“I see a lot of passionate people, like me,” said Arla.

He mentioned the tireless work done by Trissie Dohn, a recovering addict who is constantly on the speaking trail.

Calling it a great group of people, Arla said Partners in Prevention has the right message of starting at the grassroots and trying to make a difference.

The availability of prescription drugs in the home is dangerous, said Arla.

During the past three years, Arla said a lot of his work has been testifying across the county to legislatures about the need for tougher prescription laws.

In Kentucky, Arla said there have been strides taken, especially in laws regulating to the purchase of pseudoephedrines, have dropped the production of methamphetamine.

It took some time to get politicians and officials across the nation to understand the growing problems of meth. Once they were educated, Arla said most have been very cooperative in making sure laws are put in place to regulate the ingredients necessary to make the highly-addictive drug.

“There’s been a whole lot of work done locally and across the nation on educating people about drug abuse and some of the causes,” said Arla. “I’m proud to have been just a small part of that process.”

Despite many weekends spent traveling to speak to different groups and organizations, Arla enjoys the chance to spread the word.

“It’s been gratifying,” said Arla. “Like my dad, I think we need to give back to the community in which we work.”