No state has been hit harder by the opioid epidemic than Kentucky.
We are among the top five states nationally for opioid death.
In 2017, there were 1.2k opioid deaths here alone.
Incidences of HIV and Hepatitis C are also on the rise due to injection drug and syringe sharing. 10-12 percent of new HIV cases reported in KY are from opioid use, and in 2017 there were 103 new cases of acute Hep C from abuse as well.
Children are even more affected,
with Kentucky children ranked fourth nationally for trauma caused by parental opioid abuse. Every 15 minutes, a child is born with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome as the result a mother’s opioid abuse while pregnant.
Even more alarming, a synthetic drug called Fentanyl, which up to 50 times more potent than heroine has recently appeared in Kentucky. Originally a schedule-II narcotic intended for use in end-of-life scenarios, it is now often mixed with heroine or disguised in pill for form, making it easier to overdose on.
The opioid epidemic affects all Kentuckians, regardless of age, race, income or other demographics. I have seen how much this epidemic has effected our community. In addition to supporting the efforts of our law enforcement officers to control the crisis, I will make sure they receive all the resources they need. I will also join other legislators in searching for a permanent solution.