(LEX 18) — U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky tells LEX 18’s “State of the Commonwealth” that lawmakers in Washington are working to address the opioid crisis.
The Republican congressman points to the comprehensive addiction recovery act, 21st Century Cures Act, and said funding needs to continue for those programs.
Barr also says Kentucky was among six states that will receive a pilot program under the Career Act.
That means the commonwealth now is eligible for federal funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Labor for long-term transitional housing and job training for people in recovery.
Barr says we cannot afford to lose another 70,000 Americans to drug overdoses.
“Major sense of urgency. Again, it is not only a personal tragedy when we see an overdose, or someone struggling with addiction, but it’s also a real problem for economic productivity in our country,” Barr said. “And American competitiveness depends on us tackling this problem, and overcoming this problem, so that every American can achieve their God-given potential and overcome their addiction.”
Barr says a new grant called the Healing Communities Grant will go a long way to help in studying the crisis.
The program’s goal is to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40 percent in 16 counties.