By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
The opioid epidemic sweeping Kentucky is on the minds of many — it has captured headlines and dominated conversations among citizens and lawmakers alike.
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville are joining the conversation, too. A group of more than 40 people gathered the night of Sept. 21 at St. Bernadette Church in Prospect, Ky., to hear a panel of professionals discuss the “opioid crisis” and how to help. The Knights of Columbus organized the event to raise awareness about the issue.
Only the day before, local media outlets reported that a joint House-Senate Health and Welfare Committee met in Frankfort, Ky., for a day-long session where committee members heard from experts on the addiction facing the state.
According to a report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 1,404 people, 364 in Jefferson County, died from drug overdoses in 2016. The report also found that an increase in the use of fentanyl, an opioid pain medication being illegally manufactured, contributed to these overdose deaths. Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky had the highest numbers of overdose deaths, according to the report.
The panel discussion at St. Bernadette, entitled “Taking Action on the Opioid Crisis,” brought together a group of six professionals.