LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Local leaders held a town hall tonight in Lexington to address the opioid crisis in the Black community.
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Councilwoman Denise Gray partnered with the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission and Consolidated Baptist Church to hold the town hall. The event was free and open to the public.
“There is a misconception amongst many that opioid addiction, overdoses, and deaths are not affecting the Black community. As of last year, the number one group dying of opioid overdoses are Black males. The Commission has been tasked with ensuring funds from the opioid settlement, help those directly affected. This is an opportunity to directly address specific needs within the community and to learn how to apply for grants to deal with this crisis,” says councilwoman Gray. “As councilwoman, it is my goal to do work that improves the lives of all Lexingtonians, but also communities who are underrepresented.”
She says the majority of deaths are in the city's Northside community, where the event was held.
"We want to hear everything you have seen, suffered or overcome, and we have got to hear what we have to do to build that bridge," said W. Bryan Hubbard, chair and executive director of the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission.
Gray wrote on Facebook, "this event (and others to come) is all part of my plan to bring community back to our district and city and to find ways to mend what has not been directly tackled."
Information on the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission and upcoming events can be found here.