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.

 

Heroin addiction affects many Kentuckians, but there are ways to reverse this epidemic

Insider Louisville LogoHeroin addiction is a problem that has exploded in Kentucky over the past several years. Three years ago, barely 1 in 100 people who came to The Healing Place detox facilities for help were there because of a heroin addiction. Today, that number is 95 percent. In that same time period, heroin arrests in Jefferson County have increased by 700 percent, prompting the launch of a “rocket docket” that serves to get addicts into treatment more quickly.

Still, despite the efforts of social services agencies and law enforcement officials, the epidemic continues to grow. That’s why The Healing Place helped organize a recent symposium, “Heroin: About Face. Reversing an Epidemic,” to bring together people representing social services agencies, law enforcement, the courts, and much more to address the issues and find solutions to the problem.

The keynote speaker was Tara Conner, the 2006 Miss USA from Russell Springs, who told her story of addiction that started at a very young age and eventually led to her treatment and life of recovery.

“I was grateful that I was sent to treatment because I didn’t know that addiction was a disease, I didn’t know what recovery looked like,” she said in a recent Passport-sponsored article in Insider Louisville. “Since that experience I immediately became an advocate. I was chucked into rehab by someone else, and if that hadn’t happened I might be dead.”

Among the other speakers were Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell, who lost a son to a heroin overdose in 2014; Dr. Greg Jones, medical director of the Kentucky Physicians Health Foundation; and Geoff Wilson, a licensed clinical social worker and certified alcohol and drug counselor.

For more information, please go online to InsiderLouisville.com.

 

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.