When looking at Kentucky’s challenges, none looms larger than illegal drug use. It has taken away so many of our loved ones, torn families apart, filled up our jails, undercut our workforce and put a significant strain on government budgets.
Kentucky, unfortunately, has been ground zero in this epidemic, with few if any states seeing the damage we have over the past two decades. From methamphetamine and pill mills to synthetic drugs, heroin and now fentanyl, it seems that we when we begin making progress on one front, the battlefield invariably changes.
State and local officials, law enforcement and our healthcare professionals have worked together over the years to bring these numbers down, and there have been some enduring successes along the way.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse issue, help is available. You can call, toll-free, 1-833-859-4357 to speak with a specialist about treatment options and what resources may be available. You can also get more information from www.findhelpnowky.org, or through our local and regional healthcare providers and substance abuse treatment centers.
"Addiction is not invincible," the Office of Drug Control Policy’s executive director wrote in this year's report. “We know what needs to be done, and we know we need to do it together. The solution lies in prevention, treatment, and recovery.”
Our state has accomplished a great deal in this ongoing struggle, but there is still much to do. The more success we have, though, the more lives we save and the more every single Kentuckian benefits. That's a goal certainly worth fighting for.
If you have any thoughts about this or other state issues, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the toll-free message line for the General Assembly is 1-800-372-7181.