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Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Coleman: Hardin, McCracken and Scott Counties Certified as Recovery Ready Communities

Counties recognized for increasing addiction services among youth, partnerships with local law enforcement and school districts

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 7, 2024) – Today, while participating at Recovery Advocacy Day at the State Capitol, Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman announced that Hardin, McCracken and Scott counties have been designated as Recovery Ready Communities for their commitment to providing residents with access to addiction treatment and recovery support and removing barriers to the workforce. These three counties bring the total number of Recovery Ready Communities to 10 since the Governor announced the first certification in May of last year.

“Team Kentucky is built on love, compassion and hope, and it is with these same qualities that we extend a helping hand to our neighbors who are struggling with addition across the commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Thank you to Hardin, McCracken and Scott counties for their unique approaches to addiction treatment while also focusing on our youth. These counties are rebuilding lives and because of their hard work the commonwealth is moving forward in creating a better Kentucky for future generations.”

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Because of these individuals doing good work in their counties, free treatment is not only available, but in reach of more Kentuckians than ever before,” Lt. Gov. Coleman said. “I am proud to partner with you in our state’s endeavor to curb addiction, and Team Kentucky is stronger because of your partnership.”

Recovery Ready certification encourages communities to provide transportation to and from employment services and job interviews, allowing Kentuckians to make positive changes in their lives while filling much-needed jobs and contributing to the commonwealth’s record-breaking economic development.

The Recovery Ready Communities Advisory Council has been working closely with Kentucky’s counties to establish community-based infrastructure to combat addiction and support long-term recovery.

“The Recovery Ready Communities program has proved to be a great success in assisting Kentuckians who are seeking recovery by connecting them with local resources and support,” said Advisory Council Chair Pam Darnall. “We continue to encourage all of our counties to work toward becoming certified as Recovery Ready, because we know that only together can we beat this devastating epidemic.”

Hardin County’s emphasis on educating youth on the impacts of addiction through collaboration with the county’s school system combined with the outreach of the Lincoln Trail District Health Department and the training offered to local school officials makes the county Recovery Ready. Not only is it educating all its citizens about the dangers of addiction, but it is providing recovery resources through its participation in an active Agency for Substance Abuse Planning board.

“This should be a great resource to increase the available workforce as we are experiencing significant growth in Hardin County and neighboring communities. I am grateful for the support received from our elected officials, and for the many community partners that made this possible,” said Sara Jo Best, public health director for Lincoln Trail District Health Department. “While this certification highlights the successful work that has been done so far, it also creates an opportunity for additional activities that we can undertake as a community to do even more. Lincoln Trail District Health Department is committed to continuing to support the resources that are in place and to help strive to move efforts even farther.”

McCracken County has been certified Recovery Ready because of the unique ways it is combatting addiction. An entire city block in downtown Paducah has been transformed into a unified campus allowing seamless delivery of services to at-risk youth, addiction treatment and metal health disorders. McCracken County is also home to a mobile access van that serves people throughout the region while working with public and private stakeholders to create a countywide treatment system that is accessible and affordable.

“We have worked toward this certification for quite some time. We have partnered with our parent agency, Four Rivers Behavioral Health, along with the Purchase District Health Department and so many other local organizations to ensure we are not only recognized as a Recovery Ready Community but also as a community that cares about its citizens,” said Brandon Fitch, director of Turning Point Recovery Community Center. “We are so happy to have been recognized for our efforts and hope we serve as an example to other counties in our area so they too can work toward being Recovery Ready."

Scott County’s collaboration with local law enforcement and grassroots recovery advocates makes it Recovery Ready. The Georgetown Police Department has demonstrated a profound commitment to addressing addiction-related crime and disorder through Operation Hope, which is the agency’s local version of the Kentucky State Police’s Angel Initiative. Additionally, the police and local advocates have worked with local food banks and shelters to ensure local citizens have a place to stay safe and do not need to go hungry.

“We are deeply grateful and humbled to receive this esteemed designation. The Georgetown Police Department, alongside our dedicated community partners, has devoted years to the development and upkeep of recovery support elements within our community,” said Georgetown Police Department Lt. Mitch Lair. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding these vital services and resources, with the aim of fostering safer and healthier communities. I extend heartfelt gratitude to all our local, regional, and state partners who have collaborated with us on this journey. May our continued collaboration pave the way for a brighter and stronger future for all Kentucky communities.”

To learn more about the program and to apply for certification as a Recovery Ready Community, click here.

Since taking office in 2019, Gov. Beshear has promised to provide resources to those struggling with addiction and their families, because one life lost to drug overdose is one too many. He began this work during his time in the Attorney General’s office and renewed this promise after taking the oath of office to begin his second term as Governor.

In April 2023, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky’s drug overdose deaths declined by 5% in 2022 compared with 2021, marking the first decline since 2018. Kentucky was only one of eight states that saw a significant decrease, while the nation saw an uptick in deaths.

Kentucky is also leading the way in providing treatment services to Kentuckians through the state’s Treatment Access Program, which allows those without health insurance to enter residential treatment, expanding health care coverage and increasing treatment beds. According to the National Substance Use and Mental Health Services Survey 2022, Kentucky ranks No. 1 for per capita residential substance-use disorder treatment beds.

Treatment Resources
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, the KY HELP Call Center can connect you to treatment by calling 833-8KY-HELP (833-859-4357). can also provide information about treatment programs near you.

Last year, Gov. Beshear announced a new searchable website to help people find recovery housing, Since the website’s launch, over 24,000 individuals have been connected to recovery housing resources across the commonwealth.

Visit the Kentucky State Police website to find a post where those suffering from addiction can be paired with a local officer who will assist with locating an appropriate treatment program through KSP’s Angel Initiative.