Louisville mayor names board to oversee distribution of opioid settlement money

BY: - September 21, 2023

LOUISVILLE—On schedule, Kentucky’s most populous city just finalized an advisory board to oversee its opioid settlement fund distribution.  Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg appointed health experts and other local leaders to supervise the spending of more than $57 million from opioid settlements with CVS, Walgreens, Teva and Allergan.  Release of the  $57 million will be spread […]

Louisville jail installed a naloxone vending machine. Why it matters.

BY: - September 19, 2023

LOUISVILLE — In the two weeks after leaving jail, a person’s risk of overdosing from opioids is much higher.  That’s because of “abstinence during the period of incarceration (and) the decrease in tolerance associated with that abstinence,” according to Ben Goldman, the community health administrator for Louisville’s public health department.  So, the Metro Department of […]

Chandler, others support Kentucky spending millions on possible psychedelic treatment for addiction

BY: - September 18, 2023

Twenty-three people spoke in favor of funding the development of an opioid-use disorder treatment using the psychedelic drug ibogaine with some of the state’s opoid-settlement money at the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission‘s second and final public hearing on Friday, Sept. 15. Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky President and CEO Ben Chandler, a former Kentucky […]

Drug decriminalization stumbled in Oregon. Other states are taking note.

BY: - September 18, 2023

PORTLAND, Oregon — Just before Portland’s city council approved a ban on public drug use last week, Mayor Ted Wheeler described what he’d observed on his way to work that afternoon: “The last time I saw somebody consuming what I believe to be fentanyl publicly on our streets was less than five minutes ago, three […]

Kentucky projects receive $1.5 million to aid with substance use disorder recovery, re-entry

BY: - September 11, 2023

ASHLAND — The Appalachian Regional Commission announced nearly $14 million for projects that help people recovering from substance use disorders to re-enter the workforce.  Across 11 states, 43 projects were selected to receive part of the funding through ARC’s  Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative. Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin offered her congratulations to […]

Death rates for people under 40 have skyrocketed. Blame fentanyl.

BY: - September 6, 2023

A new Stateline analysis shows that U.S. residents under 40 were relatively unscathed by COVID-19 in the pandemic but fell victim to another killer: accidental drug overdose deaths. Death rates in the age group were up by nearly a third in 2021 over 2018, and last year were still 21% higher. COVID-19 was a small […]

More than half of Kentucky’s counties now have harm reduction programs for IV drug users

BY: - July 6, 2023

Kentucky has added two new syringe-service programs for intravenous drug users this year, bringing the total to 84 SSPs, in 65 of the state’s 120 counties. Hart County opened its program in January and Estill County reopened its program in April. SSPs are part of what health departments call “harm reduction”  — programs that offer […]

Pushback greets Cameron appointee’s plan to explore illegal psychedelic to treat opioid disorder

BY: - June 19, 2023

The commission that manages the state’s opioid-settlement money voted June 13 to hold two public hearings to discuss the idea of funding development of an opioid-use disorder treatment using the psychedelic drug ibogaine. Two members of the Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission questioned the idea, one saying it seems to benefit a company developing a treatment, […]

New report confirms Kentucky’s first decline in fatal overdoses since 2018 

BY: and - June 16, 2023

Kentucky’s 2022 Overdose Fatality Report, released Thursday, shows the commonwealth saw its first decline in fatal overdoses since 2018.  Still, 2,135 Kentuckians died from an overdose in 2022. Ninety percent of those deaths were from opioids and fentanyl. Potent inexpensive methamphetamines also continue to be a driving factor.   During his weekly press conference Thursday, Gov. […]

A rural county’s choice: Use opioid funds to pay off debt, or pay them forward to curb crisis

BY: - May 26, 2023

Over the past two years, rural Greene County in northeastern Tennessee has collected more than $2.7 million from regional and national settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors. But instead of helping people harmed by addiction, county officials are finding other ways to spend it. They have put $2.4 million toward paying off the county’s debt […]

Fentanyl-related drugs permanently made criminal under bill passed by U.S. House

BY: - May 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Thursday in an effort to curb staggering overdose deaths from illegal fentanyl substances that are illicitly produced and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. The HALT Fentanyl Act, passed on a 289-133 vote with 74 Democratic votes and support from the Biden administration, would […]

Overdose deaths in Kentucky drop for first time since 2018

BY: - April 20, 2023

Kentucky recorded fewer overdose deaths in 2022 than in 2021, Gov. Andy Beshear said Thursday.  Beshear cited preliminary numbers from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, which showed 2,127 overdose deaths in 2022, down from 2,257 in 2021.  “That number is still far too high,” Beshear said. “One is too many.” But, he said, […]