A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Overdose deaths, prescriptions for opiate treatment drugs rising, worry state officials

Kentucky Health News   Despite measures to discourage prescription drug abuse, Kentucky health officials report overdose deaths continue to rise and opioid treatment drugs are being prescribed “at alarming rates,” Kevin Wheatley reports for cn|2’s Pure Politics.   A shift to cheaper, readily available heroin is partly to blame, Audrey Tayse Haynes, secretary of the Cabinet...

Overdose deaths in Kentucky stayed steady
in 2013, but heroin deaths continued to climb

Fayette County is one of the top five counties for heroin detected in overdose deaths. Jefferson County had the most. Three Northern Kentucky counties were also among the top five. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)   Kentucky overdose deaths stayed steady in 2013, while the number of deaths attributed to heroin continued to climb, according to a report issued today by the Office of Drug Control Policy.   The...

While Kentucky overdose deaths declined last year, those attributed to heroin soared 550%

(From 2012 Overdose Fatality Report)   For the first time in a decade, Kentucky overdose deaths declined in 2012, according to a report issued by the Office of Drug Control Policy.   However, even with the overall drop, autopsied overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin increased 550 percent over the previous year, to 143 cases, up from 22 in 2011.   Of the 1,004 overdose fatalities...