State leaders give out grants to fight opioid epidemic

State leaders give out grants to fight opioid epidemic
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 11:58 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - More Kentucky communities are getting money to fight the opioid epidemic.

State leaders gave out the first set of grants Thursday morning.

The Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission (OAAC) announced its grant awards at the State Capitol Thursday morning.

The money comes from Kentucky’s portion of a $26 billion settlement with opioid companies for their role in exacerbating the deadly opioid crisis.

The OAAC was created to ensure the Commonwealth would receive the maximum payment from the opioid settlement.

House Bill 427 created the committee and allocated 50% of all proceeds to local governments, with the Commonwealth receiving the other 50%.

The OAAC is responsible for distributing the Commonwealth’s portion of the more than $842 million in settlement funds received from opioid companies.

Over the past year, the commission has conducted town halls in every corner of Kentucky to help them determine the best way to use this money.

Today more than $8 million in funding was awarded to 24 organizations to continue their efforts fighting the opioid epidemic.

“When you look at and survey the organizations that are here, they have all been resourced to meet those acute needs based on the collective feedback that we received from thousands. We aim to be responsive to what the people of this state expect of us, and I think we are off to a good start,” said OAAC Executive Director Bryan Hubbard.

The OAAC says their goal is to announce the next round of funding sometime this fall.

There is some good news when it comes to opioid use in the state. Last week, Governor Beshear announced opioid overdose deaths declined by 5% in 2022. It’s the first decline since 2018.