LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41)--It's a drug that's meant to treat pain, but Louisville Metro Police say drug abusers are using it to get high. The drug is opana, or oxymorphone. Not only is it illegal to sell on the streets, but it can and has been deadly.
"There were two golf pros who overdosed earlier in the year; opana is what they were on," says Sgt. John McGuire, with LMPD's prescription drug diversion unit.
Kenneth Postlewait and Casey Combs had promising golf careers that allegedly ended from an overdose of a powerful drug. "There have been a number of deaths in Louisville associated with opana or oxymorphone," says Sgt. McGuire.
Earlier this year, the professional golfers were found dead inside Postlewait's East End apartment. "Shortly after we started seeing a lot more deaths associated to opana," says McGuire.
Police are now looking into several other cases that may involve opana, according to McGuire. "What kind of started that was we were notified by the medical examiner's office that they were starting to notice deaths associated with oxymorphone or the drug opana."
Metro police suspect they're seeing more opana on the streets because of the absence of another popular drug. "We started to notice back around August after the reformulation of oxycontin that people on the street were looking for another drug to get high on," says McGuire.
Police believe the drug is being brought into the Louisville area from the south. "A lot of it does seem to be coming from out of state. Most of it that is hitting the street does seem to be coming from Florida," says McGuire.