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CDC report shows slight decrease in Kentucky's overdose deaths

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 30, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A recent CDC report shows overdose deaths in Kentucky are on a slight decline.

As one man in recovery says, even a slight decrease is an improvement.

"Three months of decreased fatalities from overdose in the United States is nothing to balk at," said Jason Merrick with Addiction Recovery Care. "That is encouraging, that is life-saving."

Merrick is referring to this data from the CDC. It's not a sharp decrease, but it has some hopeful for a downward curve.

"We're seeing maybe a little glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel," he added.

There was a steep increase in overdose deaths around the beginning of the pandemic, according to the data.

"People are showing more kindness now," said Andrew Hager, who hosts Andrew Hager Live. Hager struggled for decades with addiction. "Communities are on board, they're aware now."

Hager's mission now is to help people recover from the illness of addiction. He has been clean and sober for almost a decade.

"This is someone's father, this is someone's daughter, this is someone's son," Hager said. "It's real. These are human beings."

As far as the numbers go, people close to the issue say any improvement is just that.

"People who have lost loved ones are also watching these numbers very closely," Merrick said.

"My daughter was one of those people that had overdosed and died from this vicious illness, the condition of addiction," Hager said.

Hager credits transparency and support from others who have made that life change.

"A lot of people are recovering out loud now and that's what it took for me," he said.