Commission schedules town halls to hear from Kentuckians on how to spend drug settlement money
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - A group that’s been tasked with coming up with a plan to spend millions in opioid settlement money wants to hear from Kentuckians.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron formed the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission in June to come up with a plan to spend $240 million from the settlement.
The commission is scheduling town hall meetings across the state.
Bryan Hubbard, the chairman of the commission, says they want to hear from people and have town hall meetings set for October 11 at The Forum in Hazard and October 26 at the UK Student Center in Lexington.
Within the committee, three subcommittees were formed to focus on the needs of treatment, prevention, reform and compliance. Hubbard says hearing from those deeply impacted by addiction is key to what they are doing.
“We must hear from those primarily impacted by the opioid epidemic from one of this state to the other. There’s an undue amount of shame and stigma associated with this problem,” Hubbard said.
All of this comes as Kentucky is still dealing with numerous overdose deaths and problems with addiction.
From county coroners to people who work at treatment facilities, they tell us fentanyl is a big problem. The commission says addressing that will be included in their plans.
“We are seeing heroin. Mainly fentanyl. Fentanyl seems to be in all the illicit drugs. Most of the ones we investigate,” said Lincoln County Coroner Farris Marcum.
According to the CDC, overdose deaths increased in 2021 in Kentucky by 13.5% with 2,400 deaths. The commission said in June treatment is going to be a key component of how they spend the money.
Kentucky received $480 million in settlement money but the commission only oversees half of that. The rest went directly to counties.
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