A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Andy Beshear: From coffee grounds to opioid disposal pouches, Kyians join fight against addiction

Over the years, you have heard me say that in order to tackle our state’s opioid epidemic, it’s going to take all of us coming together as a community. That everyone has a role in building a better future. Andy Beshear One of my efforts to build that future is the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program, which provides drug deactivation pouches to help Kentucky families safely dispose of the dangerous...

Lexington’s DV8 Kitchen providing a second chance to people with drug and alcohol addiction

A Lexington restaurant was recently profiled in The New York Times for its efforts in giving people in treatment for drug and alcohol addiction a second chance. DV8 Kitchen opened last September and not only hires people in treatment for an addiction, “but also focuses its entire business model on recovery, using the restaurant setting as a tool for rehabilitation,” the Times’ Priya...

Chris Lewis: Alternatives to incarceration work, it’s time for common sense justice reform

My name is Chris Lewis and I’ve been in recovery since August 11, 2013. For so many years I knew something was wrong with me, even as a kid, but I couldn’t put the puzzle together. I had loving parents but they faced their own challenges. I grew up thinking my childhood was “normal” in spite of the fact that I was routinely beaten and experienced sexual abuse. As a child, I acted out and...

Operation UNITE uses comprehensive approach to keep Appalachian kids off drugs

From Kentucky Health News Preventing kids from falling into addiction is a major goal for Operation UNITE, a nonprofit serving 32 counties in Eastern Kentucky — a region where the average age for first drug use is 11, Laura Ungar reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. “Experts say UNITE’s approach — encompassing families, schools, and communities — is supported by research and...

KHIP: Historic shift in perceptions and most Kentucky adults now believe addiction is a disease

The most recent Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) found that 7 in 10 Kentucky adults believe that addiction is a disease (70%).  Attitudes towards addiction as a disease were the same both among respondents who have a family member or friend who has experienced problems as a result of heroin use, methamphetamine use, or prescription drug use and among those who did not indicate such firsthand experience...

Poll: 24 percent of adult Kentuckians know someone misusing prescription pain relievers

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Whether it’s the misuse of prescription pain relievers, heroin or methamphetamine, the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll findings indicate that many Kentuckians have a drug problem. The poll, conducted Oct. 24 to Dec. 2, found that nearly one in four Kentucky adults, or 24 percent, said they knew someone who had experienced problems as a result of prescription...

‘FindHelpNowKY’ is new tool in fight against addiction; get real-time treatment options info

Since its launch in early 2018, Kentucky’s innovative new tool in the fight against addiction,FindHelpNowKY.org, has served critical, real-time information on available treatment options to more than 4,700 Kentuckians since the start of the year. The website — which tracks current openings for 162 providers and 392 facilities across the state — has also seen more than 7,300 total visitor...

Study finds young, white, lower-income men have greatest increase in heroin use, addiction

Young, white men with lower education and income levels have experienced the greatest increase in heroin use and addiction, a study has found. Men 25 to 44 accounted for the highest heroin-related death rate (13.2 per 100,000) in 2015, a 22 percent increase from the previous year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Silvia Martins, the lead author of the new study,...

Marijuana use among older adults increasing; effects of the drug on seniors uncertain

As the number of older adults using marijuana increases, researchers say more information is needed to determine the effects of the drug on seniors. “Given the unprecedented aging of the U.S. population, we are facing a never before seen cohort of older adults who use recreational drugs,” Dr. Benjamin Han, a geriatrician and health-services researcher at New York University, said in the news release....