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NKY's plan to stabilize & reverse heroin epidemic

The task force studying Northern Kentucky's increasing heroin problem recommends a combination of increased police presence, legislation and prevention, treatment and recovery. The four-year plan to stabilize and reverse the epidemic, called Northern Kentucky's Collective Response to the Heroin Epidemic, is expected to cost $4 million.

The problem:

  • Drug overdose deaths have quadrupled in KY since 1999 and now the number is higher than all other states except for West Virginia and New Mexico
  • KY ranks third in the U.S. for overdose deaths
  • NKY is seeing more emergency room visits from overdoses and more people dying from overdoses
  • KY's price tag for all drug abuse is $6 billion annually


  • Naloxone (a drug to reverse a heroin overdose) is more readily available
  • The first Protection Center for Nalxone distribution was established in Falmouth

Still needs to be addressed:

  • A heroin route from Mexico to Chicago goes through Northern Kentucky
  • People are dying before they can get treatment
  • Hepatitis C cases are on the rise
  • There's no drug treatment transition for newly released inmates
  • Too many young adults are experimenting with alcohol and other drugs
Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.