National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held at more than 80 locations statewide
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear is encouraging Kentuckians to participate in the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day scheduled nationwide on Oct. 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET.
“We must take every step possible to lower the amount of drug overdose deaths in Kentucky," said Gov. Beshear. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an easy opportunity for all Kentuckians to do their part in ensuring that prescription drugs are not able to be misused or abused."
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
“Each year, the commonwealth participates in this event and collects hundreds of thousands of pounds of prescription medications," Van Ingram, executive director the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) said. “Kentucky, let's work together again this year to save our children, neighbors, friends and loved ones by safely emptying our medicine cabinets of prescriptions that could cause overdoses if used improperly."
This Saturday, Kentuckians can choose a location closest to them with at least 80 options available to dispose of their prescription drugs. To view locations near your zip code, county or city, click here.
“Last year a record high number of 2,250 Kentuckians lost their lives due to drug overdose, many of which involved the misuse of prescription drugs," said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “It is through harm reduction programs and events such as National Prescription Take Back Day that Kentuckians can save our families, our communities and help put an end to high record-breaking years in the future."
Kentuckians who are unable to make it to one of the event locations on Oct. 29 can safely dispose of their prescription drugs at 193 different drug disposal locations throughout 116 counties. To find a prescription drug disposal location, click here.
Beshear-Coleman Administration Fights to Save Lives
Through partnerships across state government, including the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Beshear-Coleman administration is diligently working to provide wider and easier access to recovery, reduce addiction and prevent reincarceration of offenders. These programs will help continue the fight against the drug epidemic in Kentucky while providing help for those who need it.
During the 2022 legislative session, Gov. Beshear continued his work to champion legislation to fight the epidemic and ensure necessary support is available to those who are struggling with addiction. The Governor worked with a bipartisan group of state leaders to act on recommendations made by The Pew Charitable Trusts on how to best address the opioid crisis. This includes signing Senate Bill 90 into law to provide eligible individuals the alternative of receiving treatment for a behavioral health disorder instead of incarceration, expand recovery-ready housing as well as access to treatment for pregnant and parenting people in rural areas.
Additionally, the Governor took legislative action to help those suffering from an addiction who are not in a position to seek help for themselves. Casey's Law, signed in 2004, has helped more than 6,000 Kentuckians battling addiction by allowing families and loved ones to seek a court order for involuntary treatment for anyone who is fighting addiction and refuses treatment on their own. Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 362 in April to expand on the benefit of Casey's Law by permitting the court to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, if an individual should be ordered to undergo treatment for a substance use disorder. At this time, the court shall order treatment for a specific amount of time. If the individual fails to undergo treatment, they will be held in contempt of court.
In June, the Governor announced that Kentucky is working to establish counties as “Recovery Ready Communities" in an effort to help individuals fighting an addiction receive critical resources at no cost, and work to reduce the ongoing public health crisis that is sweeping across the nation. This is in response to Gov. Beshear signing House Bill 7 last year, which ensures communities are recovery-ready through the availability of high quality recovery programs offered within their area.
HB 7 created the Advisory Council for Recovery Ready Communities within ODCP, which is partnering with Volunteers of America to launch a Recovery Ready Community Certification Program for cities and counties to apply for upon offering transportation, support groups, recovering meetings and employment services at no cost to residents currently seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction.
In April, Gov. Beshear and ODCP announced $4.9 million in grants to offer comprehensive treatment and recovery services to pregnant and parenting people. This funding will not only help parents recover from opioid addiction, but will also address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a condition caused by an infant going through drug withdrawal.
In February, Gov. Beshear announced that, through a federal grant, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the University of Kentucky are administering Narcan, a brand name for the medicine naloxone, in eight counties at no cost to help reduce overdose deaths. As of today, more than 800 units have been distributed. In Oct., an additional eight counties were added for Narcan distribution which includes Campbell, Jefferson, Bourbon, Jessamine, Knox, Mason, Carter and Greenup.
By the end of this year, the “HEALing Communities Study," conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, should be completed. This study hopes to identify the most effective means of intervention to assist in reducing overdose deaths in the commonwealth and around the nation. Kentucky was one of four states chosen to participate in the study. For more information on the study's research on the impact that community intervention has on reducing overdose deaths in Kentucky, click here.
During 2021, the Beshear-Coleman administration awarded millions in grant funding, including more than $570,000 to the Jeffersontown Police Department and Access to Justice Commission to develop a variety of treatment options; almost $1.2 million to implement a project creating pathways to recovery and healing for individuals suffering from addiction; $1,698,441 in federal grant funding to assist the fight against the opioid epidemic through targeted drug trafficking enforcement; and $188,784 to ensure that children negatively impacted by parental addiction have access to legal services, community resources and therapeutic services.
Addiction Treatment Resources
Call the KY Help Call Center at 833-8KY-HELP (833-859-4357) to speak one-on-one with a specialist who can connect Kentuckians to treatment.
Visit findhelpnowky.org to find information about available space in treatment programs and providers based on location, facility type and category of treatment needed.
Visit the KSP website to find one of KSP's 16 posts where those suffering from addiction can be paired with a local officer who will assist with locating an appropriate treatment program. The Angel Initiative is completely voluntary, and individuals will not be arrested or charged with any new drug violations if they agree to participate in treatment.
For a video from Gov. Beshear on available treatment and resources, and the importance of knowing how to respond to an overdose, click here.