New Report Shows Overdose Rates in Kentucky Decreased by Nearly 10%

In a positive development, Kentucky has seen a decrease in overdose deaths for the second consecutive year. The latest report on drug overdose fatalities in Kentucky reveals a significant decrease of almost ten percent in the number of deaths caused by drug use in 2023. Approximately two thousand individuals from Kentucky lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2023.

According to the report, Fentanyl was responsible for slightly more than 79% of these fatalities. Van Ingram serves as the executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.

At a press conference, he attributed the decrease in fatalities to the collaborative efforts of multiple organizations. One organization that stands out is Operation UNITE and their KY HELP Call Center.

In 2023, around 4,000 individuals reached out for assistance, expressing their need for help with addiction. The individuals who work there demonstrate remarkable compassion, patience, and dedication in assisting numerous individuals in finding the assistance they require.

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According to Ingram, approximately 36,000 individuals utilized the 84 syringe service program sites throughout the state. Katie Marks holds the position of commissioner at the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. In a press conference, she emphasized the significance of individuals in recovery sharing their stories.

“We are actively challenging the negative perception that leads to feelings of shame and loneliness. “Unshamed Kentucky” is a campaign in our state that aims to combat stigma. Over the past six months, it has garnered an impressive 2.8 million video views, featuring Kentuckians bravely sharing their personal stories.

According to recent reports, Fentanyl was responsible for a staggering 79 percent of overdose deaths, while methamphetamine accounted for 55 percent. These two drugs remain the leading causes of overdoses in the state.

The 2023 Kentucky Overdose Fatality Report is a comprehensive compilation of data from various sources, including the Office of Vital Statistics, the Office of the State Medical Examiner, and Kentucky’s coroners. This report is meticulously prepared by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center.

For those seeking additional treatment resources, the KY Help Call Center can be reached at 833-8KY-HELP (833-859-4357) to connect with a treatment specialist for personalized assistance.

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