Drug Rehab and Recovery in Kentucky
Recovery in Kentucky is a serious issue that is being faced today. The price of drug addiction seems to be rising higher every year. Both for the toll it takes on lives and relationships, the lives it claims on a daily basis, and the loss in productivity and rising health care costs plus the money spent fighting drug-related crimes. The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy estimates the annual cost of drug addiction to be roughly $2.5 to $3.6 billion in the United States.
In 2016, more than 42,000 people died in the U.S. from opioid overdoses, with that number growing in 2017. In terms of which states are suffering the most from this epidemic, Kentucky ranks particularly high. In fact, Kentucky ranks third in the U.S. for deaths related to drug overdose and had a record 1,404 fatal drug overdoses. But in recent years, leaders in Kentucky and across the nation have endeavored to combat this crisis. Some examples include:
The RX Summit
The RX Summit, held this year in Atlanta, was founded by Kentucky congressman Hal Rogers. The summit gathered researchers and officials for a series of discussions about ending opioid abuse. It included members of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and contained information about the front line battles of fighting addiction.
Funding the Fight Against Abuse
The general assembly in Kentucky this year added $40 million to their general budget to address health disparities across the state. The money will fund research and efforts to combat the opioid epidemic through cutting edge medicine, psychiatric research, and infrastructure.
Growing Opposition to Opioid Distribution
Two clinics in Kentucky have even recently started a federal lawsuit against drug companies on the basis that these companies “engineered” a drug crisis through improper advertising to practitioners. This and other lawsuits are showing a rising tide of opposition to drug makers who may have pushed highly addictive painkillers on patients before considering the consequences. Included in the lawsuit are more than 20 pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.
The lawsuits allege that the drug companies worsened the drug crisis in Kentucky. Evidence includes one company that distributed guides downplaying the addictive tendencies of opioid substitutes and the long term health risks. It also alleges that the companies targeted susceptible populations in rural health clinics through the Appalachians. Fortunately, there are also a growing number of drug and alcohol rehabs in Lexington and across the state helping opioid addicts recover.
Ditch your Drug Surplus
Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear recently helped kickstart a new initiative to dispose of unused opioid medication. In partnership with CVS pharmacy, the program installs in-store drug disposal units for users to ditch their unused painkiller medication. Staff will explain and make customers aware of the option they have to get rid of their surplus. Nationwide, CVS has implemented more than 850 units and collected more than 140 metric tons of unwanted medication.
One in four Kentuckians is currently suffering from a substance abuse problem. That means that there has been a rising demand for sober living housing, rehabs, and apartments. In Lexington, rehab homes like Landmark Recovery of Lexington and Hope Center will be adding to the growing market.
Kentucky has consistently ranked among the highest states for drug overdoses in the past decade. It also has one of the highest Hepatitis C populations. In response to this, Kentucky has lead the charge in advocating for needle exchange programs, and will soon have the highest number of exchange sites in the country.
Bourbon country, however, is a holdout, as opposed to Louisville and Lexington, and has shot down repeated attempts to open an exchange. Many are skeptical about opening up the exchange sites because they could promote unfettered drug use by addicts. However, when one considers how rapid the spread of HIV and Hep C can occur through intravenous needle sharing, and the associated costs with rehab, the burden on the taxpayers becomes more understandable.
By the end of 2016, there were thirty different needle exchange programs in the Appalachian area, and by the end of 2017 nearly 40 more had been added. Ten more have opened in 2018 thus far.
Rehab in Louisville & Lexington
Kentucky is not alone in facing this epidemic. Drug and alcohol addiction is a multi-faceted problem, and this requires a multi-faceted approach. By implementing more services and care options for recovering addicts, Kentucky places itself on the forefront of battling addiction. It can become a model for using collaboration as the means to end a challenge.
If you or a loved one in the Louisville/Lexington area of KY are seeking help to treat a substance abuse disorder, reach out to Landmark Recovery. At Landmark, we approach treatment from the perspective that everyone is different, and requires a unique and ongoing solution. Reach out to Landmark Recovery today for the best recovery in Kentucky that can help you to begin your journey to a better tomorrow.