Kentucky Lawmakers Told Opioid Crisis ‘A Public Health Catastrophe’

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s opioid addiction crisis was the focus of a daylong meeting by state lawmakers.

The Courier-Journal reports the joint House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard from experts on heroin and prescription pill abuse engulfing many communities.

Van Ingram, executive director of the state office of drug control policy, told lawmakers Wednesday that when the clock strikes midnight that night, four Kentuckians will have died of drug overdoses. He says such deaths are preventable.

Jennifer Hancock, president of the regional Volunteers of America chapter in Louisville, which provides addiction services, called Kentucky’s opioid problem “a public health catastrophe.”

Abuse of such drugs as heroin and fentanyl continues to drive up Kentucky’s overdose deaths to unprecedented levels, according to the 2016 Overdose Fatality Report by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.