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kentucky facing major increase in opioid overdose deaths

Kentucky Receives Grant to Reduce Opioid Deaths

There is a new national effort aimed at combatting the problems of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, and the state of Kentucky is the latest state in the US to take part, supported by an $87 million grant allocated by the federal government.

The $87 million will be shared between the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, and the University of Kentucky. Between them, these organizations will study ways in which they can combat opioid use and opioid overdoses in the state.

The grant was announced by Kentucky governor Matt Bevin. He described it as a “great opportunity” for the state and that he was “convinced we’ll get it done in Kentucky”.

A Number of Kentucky Counties are Being Targeted as ‘Hotspots’ for Opioid Problems

Sixteen counties have been targeted specifically in regards to efforts being made to reduce opioid-related deaths. These are Fayette, Jessamine, Clark, Kenton, Campbell, Mason, Greenup, Carter, Boyd, Knox, Jefferson, Franklin, Boyle, Madison, Bourbon and Floyd. The award of the grant will be spread over four years, and the aim is to reduce opioid-related deaths in those counties by 40 percent over that period.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky will be working closely with community agencies who perform intervention and treatment work in the 16 counties that have been selected. It is the aim of the study to improve the availability of medications that can treat opioid dependency and reduce the ease at which physicians are able to prescribe opioids.

It also aims to make opioid treatment more accessible to people in rural areas and those on parole or probation or incarcerated for opioid-related offenses.

Kentucky was One of Four States Selected to Receive a Share of a $350 Million Federal Grant

More than a dozen US states applied to receive their share of a $350 million grant allocated to help end long-term opioid addiction, but only four were selected – Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio. These states are required to spread their award over a minimum of 15 urban and rural counties, and achieve that 40 percent goal within a four-year timeframe.

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