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Ky. county launches new campaign to combat opioid epidemic

One central Kentucky county is taking steps to combat the opioid epidemic.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:58 AM EDT
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WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - One central Kentucky county is taking steps to combat the opioid epidemic.

The Woodford County Fiscal Court just launched a new campaign.

Woodford County Judge Executive James Kay started the Opioid Task Force back in 2019. Now, they have a new initiative: Woodford AWARE. They’re working with doctors in the community to reduce the number of opioids prescribed.

Kay says from 2019 to 2020, the number of overdose deaths in the county doubled. In a new video released by Kay’s office, a family physician details that addiction to opioids can happen within three to five days of use.

Kay says he knows that many people don’t understand there are alternatives, like acetaminophen/Tylenol. That’s why he wanted to start working with doctors in the county.

He says the physicians they’ve reached out to have agreed there is a problem and are now advising patients that these other painkillers are comparable to opioids without the risks.

“There’s a misconception in our society that just because something is legally prescribed, that it’s safe and there’s no risks,” Kay said. “Our doctors know and they’re trained on that. What we want to do is bring our doctors and community together to say ‘hey, these risks are serious, dangerous and are causing problems.’”

Kay says another big part of the initiative is showing people there are treatment centers and ways to get help.

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