Heroin is killing Kentuckians. In 2013, 230 Kentuckians died from heroin overdoses, and health and law enforcement officials expect heroin overdose fatalities from 2014 may exceed that number. The time is now to confront the reality of a growing heroin epidemic in our state.
This week I was proud to join Gov. Beshear and First Lady Beshear in announcing that heroin overdose reversal kits will be purchased for Kentucky hospitals with the highest rates of heroin overdose deaths. We’re using funds from the $32 million my office recovered in settlements with two pharmaceutical companies to buy approximately 2,000 Naloxone rescue kits for the University of Louisville Hospital, University of Kentucky Hospital, and the St. Elizabeth Hospital system in Northern Kentucky.
This project will allow us to get this medicine into the hands and homes of the people who need it most -- heroin users and their families. These kits will help save lives and provide a second chance for people to seek treatment for their addictions.
To read more about this project and learn how we’re using the settlement funds for additional substance abuse treatment programs and initiatives across the Commonwealth, click here.
I want to also remind high school seniors who have been impacted by prescription drug abuse that the deadline to apply for our college scholarship program is now less than three weeks away. The Sarah Shay and Michael Donta Memorial Scholarships for Hope and Healing were created in 2013 to help those students who have excelled in their personal and academic lives despite seeing the devastating consequences of prescription drug abuse.
The scholarships, which are $1,500 each, will help two seniors get a fresh start and a chance at completing their college education.
Scholarship applications can be downloaded here. The deadline to apply is January 28.