UK researchers partner with non-profit for study on drug use
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky has the second highest drug overdose death rate in the united states, right behind neighboring West Virginia, according to the CDC. Now, UK researchers want to include those who use drugs or people in recovery to help them further their studies.
“The significance of this is letting people know that we support them, whatever that support may look like,” said David Brumett with Voices of Hope.
As a program manager, Brumett is proud of his team and the work they do in the addiction recovery community. However, he knows this is a battle that will be fought for years to come.
“We’ve partnered with the University of Kentucky to connect them with individuals who are actively using illicit substances or maybe there is someone who is in recovery but not an abstinence-based form of recovery, and we believe the perfect people for researchers to hear from are those people,” said Brumett.
Through an advisory board established over the summer called Survivors Union of the Bluegrass, they hope to give those actively in addiction a seat at the table to have their voices heard.
Amanda Fallin-Bennett is an associate professor at the UK College of Nursing and the co-founder of Voices of Hope. She says the working relationship between researchers and those in addiction will help fuel and propel a better understanding moving forward.
Fallin-Bennett says the interest has been outstanding.
“I think it’s because so many people in the recovery community and people who use drugs are very invested in wanting to be able to end the opioid epidemic,” said Fallin-Bennett.
For Brumett, it’s their continued mission to help everyone work toward recovery.
“We don’t have to tell someone what they have to do to achieve recovery, and so having two partners that are credible that people trust is very important,” said Brumett.
The advisory board meets virtually every month and participants are compensated for their time.
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