LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — We are five days away from the start of an important month, as our opioid crisis will be front and center in Lexington once September begins.
September 1 is coming soon and the month of September is National Recovery Month. For Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, the battle against opioid addiction is quite personal.
"A good friend of my son and a young person," Gorton said, referring to a man who got addicted to opioids.
Several state and local agencies joined Gorton to discuss Lexington's initiatives to help slow the opioid crisis, such as counseling and treatment.
Aside from being a former nurse who knows the science behind the power of an addiction to pain killing drugs, Gorton takes it one step further.
She told a story of a family friend, who took the typical path to an opioid addiction following a surgery. Pain medications, which had been legally prescribed, became habitual.
What happened to him next had nothing to do with his economic status.
"What frequently happens, people who are addicted have to get money to pay for their addiction. That person was stealing, robbing, spent time in jail. He's out now and doing very well," said Gorton.
Kevin Hall from the Lexington Fayette Health Department said his needle exchange program sees everyone from low income all the way up to the man who might be wearing the "nicest suit in town." No one is immune.
Gorton also said that Lexington will have a "Sustainable Work Group" program in place by the end of 2019. She said she feels that the program will help slow the opioid crisis.
AG Andy Beshear said he plans to file suit, just as Oklahoma did.