A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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....

Commentary: Real policy changes needed to keep addiction from shattering more lives

By Gary Mendell Special to KyForward   Fatal drug overdose has increased more than six-fold in the past three decades, and now, according to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 40,000 Americans died from drug-related overdoses in 2012 alone. This increase is mostly driven by opioids, such as oxycontin and hydrocodone, which now account for nearly 16,000 deaths per year, more overdose...

Weighty Matters: When will we ever learn taking away cupcakes for many means war?

Now this is something I’d consider worth an addiction. I can feel my pheromones humming! (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   By Lesley Cissell KyForward columnist   A packed house at Lexington’s Lyric Theater sang a famous folksong this week to more than 2 million listeners worldwide tuning in to Michael Johnathon’s tribute to the late Pete Seeger on WoodSongs.   We sang...

Don McNay: Al Smith celebrates 50 years of sobriety, inspiring many through his journey

(Photo provided)   I got to witness a fascinating event this week: the 50-year celebration of when journalist Al Smith stopped drinking and started his journey to greatness.   Of all of Al’s historic accomplishments, stopping drinking was one of the toughest. To make it for 50 years, one day at a time, is an inspiration to all of us.   Al turns 86 this week as well. He’s...