City of Lexington receives $2 million grant to fight overdoses

Lexington receives grant to strengthen overdose prevention
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 11:46 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington is getting more money to help fight overdoses.

Overdose deaths have been on the rise in Lexington since the start of the pandemic, and this money will help fund prevention efforts and put life-saving equipment in your pocket.

The new $2 million grant will continue work that’s already being done to cut down on overdose deaths in Lexington, which is work that officials say is desperately needed.

“We worked really hard to reduce overdose deaths by about 40% and then COVID hit, and people became more isolated and people who maybe weren’t using drugs anymore started using drugs again,” said John Moses, a harm reduction services team leader with the health department. “And unfortunately in the last two years we’ve seen more overdose deaths than we’ve ever seen here in Fayette County.”

Officials said an initial round of funding for these programs was set to expire in September, but now with the funding secured, the city can continue to push programs to connect and help addicts.

Programs such as the Fire Department’s “Leave Behind Program,” where first responders follow up with overdose survivors as a way of building that relationship and showing care.

Officials said $1 million of the funding will also go to the Fayette County Health Department. Moses said that money will go entirely to buying doses of Naloxone which is the generic version of Narcan.

“EMS, police, fire, they’re usually the first responders and it’s certainly important for them to have it, but as a community member it’s important for me to have it,” Moses said.

Moses said the Naloxone they’re distributing are reversing overdoses and saving lives.

The $2 million will come in over the next four years to help fund these operations.

Health department officials said now that Narcan isn’t the only overdose treatment out there, the price per pack of Naloxone is significantly cheaper, meaning this money will buy more kits over the next four years.

Copyright 2022 WKYT. All rights reserved.