FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that Kentucky will likely see a share of the massive $26 billion opioid settlement.
Kayla Brewer is originally from Mount Sterling. She spent about six years in active addiction when she lived there. Based on her personal experience and work, she has insight as to how Kentucky can benefit from this money.
"The biggest thing that we need is treatment centers," Brewer said. "Treatment centers for low income, but treatment centers in general."
Brewer has been clean for about five years. She would also like to see more of a focus on treating addiction as a mental illness -- versus criminally.
"If someone is committing crimes like writing bad checks or something non-violent, we need to be directing to treatment as opposed to jail," Brewer said.
Matt Brown spent nearly 20 years in active addiction. Now he works for Addiction Recovery Care, which provides different treatment options throughout Kentucky. He hopes there can be a boost to what already works.
"We know that long-term treatment works," said Brown said. "We know that comprehensive solutions like job training, like economic opportunities for people, making sure we have a holistic approach to care -- we know that works."
Brown thinks quicker treatment is worth investing more money.
"The science proves that the sooner we can get intervention, the more chances of success that they have," Brown said.
For people like Kayla Hemze, she has been in recovery for about two years. She wants to see more options for support once people return home from treatment. This will provide more resources for help once they are back in their home towns.
"The people they get connected with in their hometown that are in sobriety," said Hemze, who is part of Capital City Voices of Change. "The counseling that could be offered. I also think it should be targeted toward peer support specialists."
Cameron said Wednesday states have 30 days to sign onto the agreement and his office is reviewing that proposed agreement.