Passport Donates $25,000 to Kentucky State Police Foundation for Troopers to Have Fentanyl Protection Gear

From left: KSP Foundation Director Tom Rogers, Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley, KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders, and Passport COO Carl Felix.

Passport Health Plan has provided a $25,000 grant to the Kentucky State Police Foundation, which will be used to purchase fentanyl response kits that will help KSP troopers avoid contact with dangerous drugs.

The kits include Tyvek suits, respirator masks, fentanyl protective gloves, safety glasses, and a portable gear bag. Grainger Inc. is supplying the gear, which will be issued to all sworn units through the KSP Supply Branch.

“At Passport Health Plan, our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of all Kentuckians,” says Passport Chief Operating Officer Carl Felix. “We’re proud to be standing today with the Kentucky State Police to offer this extra layer of protection in their battle against drug trafficking and abuse.”

KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders said the addition of the suits will have an immediate impact on officer safety.

“Our troopers and officers come into contact with fentanyl on daily basis,” says Sanders. “Whether they are responding to a traffic stop, apprehending suspects or responding to overdose calls – just touching fentanyl or accidently inhaling it during enforcement activity can result in absorption through the skin causing immediate and dangerous health effects.”

Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley, who has testified to Congress on the opioid crisis in Kentucky, commended Passport Health Plan for their forward thinking and their wellness outreach.

“KSP is on the front lines of the most lethal drug epidemic in history, and it’s creating extreme risks for our troopers and officers,” Tilley says. “These kits will not only save lives among the ranks of KSP, they will save the lives of many Kentuckians by helping get these deadly drugs off the street.”

“When budgets are stretched tight, it will take partnerships like these to truly impact the opioid crisis,” notes KSP Foundation Director Tom Rogers. “Our key mission is to support the men and women of the KSP and this project is yet another way we can pool resources that will directly impact these troopers and officers in the field.”

Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as an analgesic (pain relief) and anesthetic. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.

Click here to see the video of the check presentation. Click here to read more about the kits and what they will be used for.

 

Opioid-addiction is a crisis around the region and nation, but treatment options are available

Insider Louisville LogoNo one is disputing that the opioid crisis is an epidemic in communities all over America. What starts for many as an addiction to legally prescribed painkillers can become an overwhelming craving that makes the introduction of heroin an economical and logical choice for many.

In fact, the number of deaths due to heroin overdose have recently surpassed the number of deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, Dr. Mary Bouldin, director of addiction medicine at LifeSpring Health Systems in Jeffersonville, says in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville.

“It’s very rare that somebody starts off shooting heroin,” she says. “Nobody wakes up saying ‘I think I want to be an injection-drug user today,’ but what happens is that because of the development of tolerance, people keep crossing lines that they thought they would never cross.”

For those caught up in the addiction cycle, it can be challenging to get treatment. To read more from Dr. Bouldin, and to see how the issue has affected one former NBA and UK basketball star, please click here.

 

Northern Kentucky Hospitals Get Overdose-Reversal Kits

Hospital systems on the front lines of treating heroin overdoses in hard-hit northern Kentucky will be supplied with hundreds ofnaloxone kits to send home with overdose patients in an effort to combat the deadly toll from the drug scourge. According to The Associated Press, the overdose-reversal kits are expected to save lives and provide a starting point for conversations about treatment.  The St. Elizabeth Healthcare system will receive about 500 kits for its hospitals, Atty. Gen. Jack Conway and Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear announced. For more information, click here.