We have 502 guests online

Submit Press Releases

editor@clayconews.com

Mountain Family Practice

Clay County Cruisers

Local boards are key players in opioid fight, panel told

Share

FRANKFORT—A portion of Kentucky’s tobacco settlement dollars are being used to fight the state’s opioid epidemic where addiction is most visible – at the local level.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) Executive Director Van Ingram told the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee that the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy’s (KY-ASAP) 79 local boards leverage their funds to “do some really good work” in the 118 counties they cover.

“The opioid epidemic that has got a stranglehold on this nation and this state has hit very hard in many of our Kentucky communities. This funding has allowed them to be organized and to have grassroots efforts…that really help them at the local level,” said Ingram.

KY-ASAP Program Manager Amy Andrews told the committee that the local boards were awarded over $2.5 million in 2017 for their programs including drug court staff training, drug testing in schools, smoking cessation, DUI check points and more. Most of that was annual funding that went toward education and prevention, she said. Other funds were provided per 2015 Senate Bill 192 to communities for what Andrews called “harm reduction” initiatives including NARCAN purchasing, syringe exchange programs, and drug treatment.

“We continue to be amazed at the local response to the ever-changing substance abuse climate because, as you all know, once we seem to have one issue tackled, another one emerges,” said Andrews. “But our local KY-ASAP boards’ desire to affect positive and long-lasting change—it never wavers.”

Another focus of KY-ASAP is safe prescription drug disposal. Andrews said the state works with the local boards to identify permanent prescription drug disposal locations, which she said have grown from around 11 to 198 in the past six years.

“So we have at least one box in nearly all 120 counties where our citizens can go when they have unused prescription drugs that they can dispose of in a safe manner,” she said.

Rep. Kim King, R-Harrodsburg, mentioned that Kentucky is one of three states that has recently received a $10 million federal grant to tackle drug issues. She asked Ingram, Andrews and ODCP Branch Manager Heather Wainscott if that money is benefiting their agency’s work. Ingram said that is a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) grant that was awarded to the state Division of Behavioral Health for enhanced treatment.

“(It will help with) moving people from overdose right into treatment. We have a lot of things coming up that are very exciting,” said Ingram.

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, who has been a key player on several criminal justice bills, complimented Ingram and his agency for its increased advertising presence, calling it a “good thing.”

Ingram said that outreach is geared toward reducing the stigma of addiction, which he said may save lives.

“People don’t come to treatment a lot of times because they’re embarrassed and ashamed, and that shouldn’t happen,” he said. “For the folks who already have this disease, treatment and NARCAN are all we have to offer. We’ve got to do a better job.”

Committee Co-Chair Rep. Myron Dossett, R-Pembroke, said he served on his local KY-ASAP board many years ago. He was appreciative of KY-ASAP’s work.

“We wish you did not have to be in existence, but thank goodness that we do have you,” Dossett said. “Thank you so much for what you do.”

KY-ASAP has been in place for 17 years. It was created in 2000 “to develop a strategic plan to reduce the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among youth and adult populations in Kentucky and coordinate efforts among state and local agencies in the area of substance abuse prevention,” according to the ODCP website.

user has no rights to post comments

Morgans's Professional Pharmacy

Stevie & Thelma
Furniture
London, Kentucky

I'm looking forward to meeting you!..Stop by soon!..Thelma

CREDIT in a MINUTE
WE FINANCE!

606-878-1363

Learn More

COMPUTER REPAIR

(606) 813-1356

- Complete -
Line Of Used
Auto Parts
606-598-2603