NewsCovering Kentucky


Lexington receives second $2 million grant to combat illegal drugs, overdoses

Posted at 12:05 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 12:14:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The city of Lexington was awarded a second $2 million federal grant to support its battle against opioids, other illegal drugs, and overdoses.

The new grant will allow the city to continue working with partners to provide naloxone to those at risk of overdose.

Lexington police officers will also receive naloxone to keep in their cruisers. According to the city, police distribute approximately 150 doses of naloxone a year.

Some money from the grant will be used towards the “Leave Behind Program." With this program, members of the Lexington Fire Department connect with individuals who survived an overdose. The program also provides naloxone and overdose prevention training.

The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates 9.6% of adult Kentuckians used an illicit drug in the past 30 days and 6.0% met criteria for an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

Direct application of these estimates to Lexington’s adult population suggests 24,525 adults used illicit drugs in the past 30 days and 15,329 have met the criteria for an illicit drug use disorder in the past year.

“The impact of illegal drugs has been devastating since the pandemic, when we experienced a dramatic increase in overdose fatalities that no one could have predicted,” said Mayor Linda Gorton. “The overdose numbers have increased every year since the pandemic. More than 2,200 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 14.5% increase over 2020.”