A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky ranks fourth among 38 states studied in per-resident costs of opioid-use disorder, deaths

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky ranked fourth in cost of opioid-use disorder and deaths from it, adjusted for population, in a report that shows the economic impact of the opioid epidemic across most of the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found Kentucky’s combined per-resident costs from opioid-use disorder and its resulting deaths in 2017 was $5,491,...

Ray Daniels: New legislation will help clean up Kentucky’s outdated criminal justice laws

For many years, criminal justice advocates have been pleading with the General Assembly to take stock of outdated laws and make sure they meet the needs of Kentuckians today. Many of these conversations have rightfully focused on how the criminal justice system approaches individuals in the strongholds of addiction. From these conversations, we have become more aware of the underlying factors that...

Addiction during the pandemic: Remaining in treatment while staying safe from COVID-19

By Corinne Boyer Ohio Valley ReSource Since 2012, the 2nd Chance Center for Addiction Treatment has served people in Lexington. The office sits on a busy street on the city’s north side. Similar to the heavy traffic that passes by, clients seeking treatment for substance and opioid use disorders steadily stream in and out of the building. But in 2020, the clinic had to limit that flow of patients...

UK responds to critical needs with fully-online undergraduate social work degree program

By Lindsey Piercy University of Kentucky Helping people in need is more than a career — it’s a calling. Now you can answer that calling by earning a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW) from the University of Kentucky completely online. Times are tumultuous, and 2020 has brought challenges like never before. From a public health crisis to movements against social injustice, communities are in...

Wolfe County extension celebrates addiction recovery stories: ‘Drugs do not discriminate’

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Recovering from drug addiction can take many years with many bumps in the road along the way, as Wolfe County resident Dena Brooks can attest. Brooks has been in recovery for nearly six years. Today, she stays busy raising her daughter and working as the director of the Wolfe County senior citizens center. “My life is finally where it should be now,” she said....

Constance Alexander: As social distancing drags on, book club thrives in the company of busy women

Sex, religion, race, money, men, marriage, kids, murder, politics, abuse, abandonment, addiction, romance, and real-life are just some of the topics my book group tackles each month. If the reading selection does not address those issues, no problem. Fueled by words, wine, an array of sweet snacks and some chocolate, we manage to discuss the book at hand, while also touching on current events at home,...

Commentary: Legislation shows Kentuckians path to long-term recovery for substance use disorders

By Ashli Watts and Jennifer Hancock Special to KyForward In communities across Kentucky, substance use disorders have taken a tremendous toll. Every day we are confronted with new data, reports and headlines that remind us of addiction’s staggering ripple effect.   But we cannot forget that behind the numbers, charts, graphs and television clips are real individuals who are suffering. They are our...

Spalding launches Doctor of Social Work program; pending SACSCOC approval, could start in August

The Spalding University School of Social Work is taking the next step in its social justice mission by launching the first Doctor of Social Work (DSW) program in Louisville and one of the first in Kentucky. The move, which is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, addresses a societal need to prepare a greater number of social workers –...

Constance Alexander: The long, winding road to recovery begins with admitting there’s a problem

A blazing sun lights the path to recovery but the route is not straight or narrow. As depicted in the logo of Serenity Recovery, the road curves toward the horizon before it reaches the vanishing point. The image is an apt representation for the work of the non-profit organization, which offers an intensive 12-month outpatient program that leads alcoholics and addicts through a rigorous course designed...

Churchill Downs Incorporated commits $50,000 to Volunteers of America to help women in recovery

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) and Derby City Gaming have announced a $50,000 donation to benefit Volunteers of America (VOA). The funds will be instrumental in building out VOA’s services in Manchester, Kentucky for women in treatment and recovery for substance use disorders. Churchill Downs staff spent the morning volunteering at VOA’s Shelby Street Campus in Louisville and meeting with some...

Constance Alexander: Author Janice Morgan’s new memoir reveals addiction, recovery are a family affair

Something is out of kilter on the cover of Janice Morgan’s memoir, “Suspended Sentence.” The landscape is a-tilt. A human figure with outstretched arms balances on a thin beam. One misstep and the person will fall. The sky above is partially obscured by tree branches, but there is enough light to keep moving forward. The image presents an apt metaphor for the book, and the copy on the cover makes...

Vitale Buford: Addicted to Perfect — a journey out of the grips of Adderall, a story of hope and healing

September is a month of beginnings – it marks the changing of the seasons, and the fall season, and school being back in session. September has a special place in my heart because it’s also National Recovery Month – and I’m five years sober from a 10-year addiction to Adderall. Because of this, it’s a month of reflection for me – and coincidently it’s also the same month...

Youths using e-cigarettes more likely to try marijuana; connection increased with refillable e-cig pods

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Young people who use electronic cigarettes are more likely to use marijuana, and the odds are even greater for those who start using e-cigarettes early, according to newly published research. The analysis of 21 separate studies, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that the odds of marijuana use were 3½ times higher among youth who used electronic cigarettes,...

Anthem, Renew Recovery partnership gives Kentucky consumers first in-home addiction treatment program

Through a new partnership between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky and Renew Recovery, a Kentucky-based treatment center specializing in substance use disorders, Anthem consumers covered through employer-based and individual health plans now have access to an innovative treatment model that allows them to receive addiction treatment in the comfort of their own homes. This is the first...

Judge Brian Privett wants to cut down on overdoses, but it starts with our own outlook on drug abuse

By Jonathan Coffman KyForward reporter Mistakes lead to consequences. But how do we teach people to avoid making those mistakes? Circuit Judge Brian Privett of Paris faces this question every day while managing participant treatment in his district drug courts. Judge Brian Privett Drug courts are government programs designed to provide assistance in recovery to individuals who have entered the criminal...

Ky. Chamber urges employers to update policies, lobby for reduced penalties during opioid summit

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is calling on the state’s business community to update its drug and alcohol policies to bring more help to their employees who suffer from addiction, and keep working to get state legislators to downgrade criminal penalties for simple drug possession. At an “opioid summit” in Lexington June 24, the business lobby also announced that its Kentucky Chamber...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announces grant to help youth dealing with childhood trauma

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky last week announced a grant of up to $200,000 through 2020 to begin a rural program in Russell County and nine surrounding counties to help children and youth dealing with violence, addiction and other trauma known as ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences. The Foundation awarded the grant to the Louisville-based Bounce Coalition, which will work with Russell...

U of L to host free event in Oldham County May 10 to discuss aging, pain management and addiction

The University of Louisville Trager Institute will offer a free community event to discuss the dangers of medication misuse and addiction for older adults, alternative solutions to chronic pain management and advocacy for making alternative pain strategies accessible for older adults. (Kaiser Health News photo) “There is often a stigma around talking about pain and pain management, in addition to...

Struggling with addiction or know someone; here is expert advice for finding quality treatment

By Anne M. Herron Center for Substance Abuse Treatment It can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start if you need to find treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction. Addiction touches nearly everyone in some way, yet, like all health care, effective treatment must be tailored to the needs of the individual. With many addiction treatment options, finding a program that will provide the...

Pregnant and fighting drugs, addiction, she found redemption and new life starting with a judge’s gavel

By Carolina Weatherford Kentucky Today WHITESBURG, Ky. (KT) – The sound of a gavel banging, and the dramatic clang of cell doors aren’t typically associated with hope. 
In this case, the judicial system saved Allison Rose’s life. 
On June 28, Allison found herself facing charges for paraphernalia and complicity to traffic methamphetamine in Letcher County. This was not her first drug-related...