January 17

I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Northern Kentucky on Thursday to share our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe message with the juniors and seniors at Campbell County High School. I want to thank Superintendent Glen Miller and Principal Renee Boots for allowing us to visit. Additionally, I appreciate the many community leaders and law enforcement officials who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the afternoon program. They joined me because they are concerned about substance abuse in our Commonwealth, and they are committed to battling this problem in their communities.

If you’re unfamiliar with our Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, I hope you’ll take the time to read the article that The Kentucky Enquirer’s Dave Malaska wrote following Thursday’s presentation. You can find it here. Prescription drug and heroin addictions are plaguing our state, and we’re not going to incarcerate our way out of this problem. My hope is that by educating our children, we can stop this disturbing trend.

While in Northern Kentucky, I also met with area judges-executive and the Heroin Impact and Response Work Group to discuss ways to deal with this critical issue. When I announced this month that $32 million in settlement funds recovered by my office from two pharmaceutical companies would go toward expanding substance abuse treatment, I pledged that some of the money would be used in Northern Kentucky. I firmly believe that if we’re going to stop the cycle of addiction, we must increase access to treatment.

Overseeing the settlement funding is the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory Committee, which I chair. Fellow members and I had a very productive conversation this morning during our first public meeting. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on future developments.

Finally, I want to wish a very happy 72nd birthday to Muhammad Ali today. Muhammad is not only one of my heroes, he is a great friend.