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Update on NKY heroin problem

Northern Kentucky Drug Task Force

A Northern Kentucky task force put together to respond to the region's heroin epidemic will update the public on its work Tuesday evening.  

Lynne Saddler is with the Northern Kentucky Health Department and is co-chairing the Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Task Force.

“We released our plan for responding to the heroin epidemic here in Northern Kentucky,” Saddler said.  “So this is our update to the general public on what has happened since we released that plan a year ago.”

Saddler said the group has been able to bring more funding to the region to fight heroin.  It has also hired a full-time coordinator, launched an overdose prevention program and is working with Kentucky lawmakers on a legislative agenda for the new year.

“It’s really a several year plan,” Saddler said.  “Because we all recognize that we didn’t get into this situation overnight, and we’re not going to get out of it overnight.”

The initial plan called for reducing the supply of and demand for heroin, advocating for policy change and increasing treatment capacity.

“Wanting to see a reduction in the number of arrests that occur due to heroin,” Saddler said.  “We’d like to see an increase in the number of people who are accessing and completing treatment.  We would also like to see the rates of Hepatitis C going down.  There are a number of those long-term outcomes that we really are trying to change.”

The task force community update is being held Tuesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Gardens of Park Hills at 1622 Dixie Highway.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.