A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK provides update on $15 million KeY Treat study aimed at eradicating hepatitis C in Perry County

By Allison Perry University of Kentucky On Wednesday, University of Kentucky officials provided updates on the recently launched Kentucky Viral Hepatitis Treatment Project (KeY Treat), a three-year, $15 million study co-funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) with the ultimate goal of eradicating the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Perry County. Led by UK...

Kentucky Hospital Association and state CHFS form coalition, launch statewide assault on opioids

The National Institute on Drug Abuse ranks Kentucky among the top 10 states with the highest opioid-related overdose deaths, and Kentucky’s hospitals are on the frontline in the fight to help the state recover. To assist the state’s hospitals in this battle, the Kentucky Hospital Association (KHA) is partnering with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as part of the Kentucky Opioid Response...

A historic grant: UK gets four-year $87 million grant to lead HEALing Communities project on opioids

By Kristi Willett University of Kentucky In the largest grant ever awarded to the University of Kentucky, researchers from UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and across campus — in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (JPSC) — will lead a project as part of the HEALing Communities study. The four-year,...

Pew Trusts: Public Health officials say commonly prescribed drugs could be next drug epidemic

By Christine Vestal Pew Charitable Trusts The growing use of anti-anxiety pills reminds some doctors of the early days of the opioid crisis. Clonazepam (traded as Klonopin), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax) are among the most sold drugs in a class of widely prescribed anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines. Public health officials warn the pills should be used only in the short...

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...

Fewer teens nationally and in Kentucky using drugs, alcohol than their 1990s counterparts

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A new national study shows teen drug and alcohol use are at their lowest rates since the 1990s, a trend that is also seen in Kentucky’s teens. The national survey of about 50,000 high school students found that “considerably fewer teens reported using any illicit drug other than marijuana in the prior 12 months — 5 percent, 10 percent and 14 percent...

Study finds no link between tighter controls on opioids and increased heroin usage

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Soon after Kentucky cracked down on “pill mills” where prescription painkillers were easily available, officials noticed a jump in heroin arrests and overdoses, and many presumed that one helped lead to the other. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found no link between the two, at least on a national scale, but some other experts...

Over-prescription of painkillers is solvable, but solutions aren’t ‘sexy,’ official tells group

  By Melissa Patrick Special to KyForward   The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Nora Volkow, told a group of Kentucky journalists and others at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky Health Journalism Workshop recently that it is possible to decrease the over-prescription of opioids, which she says is driving the heroin epidemic. But, she said, the solutions aren’t...