How Bad Is the Opioid Problem in Kentucky?


Created On: Monday, 21, October 2019
Modified On: Wednesday, 13, November 2019

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), in 2017 there were 1,160 reported opioid-involved deaths in Kentucky. This was a rate of around 27 deaths per 100,000 persons, which was higher than the national average during 2017. The state of Kentucky has had a long history of opioid abuse and addiction. For example, from 1999 to 2015, prescription opioids were the underlying cause of drug overdose deaths. In 2017, synthetic opioids became the main cause of these deaths, whereas the deaths related to heroin started to decline. Opioid addiction is a dangerous problem that affects many people who live in the state. When you are addicted to opioids, you need medical detox and counseling.

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Most of these addictions start with a prescription, or the person addicted got the drugs from friends or family. Kentucky was among the top ten states with the highest prescribing rates. In 2017, per a NIDA report, Kentucky providers wrote 86.8 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons. The national average during that year was around 58 per 100 persons. In 2011, Kentucky providers were writing on average 137 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons in the state. When these drugs are misused in any way, they create a devastating addiction. When the user remains on them for longer than required, their body develops a tolerance for the drug that must be met with more opioids.

Drug rehab centers in Kentucky can help addicts and their families. Medical detox will manage the withdrawal pain and cravings, and long-term programs provide the best treatment options for addicts. Substance abuse with prescription opioids does not have to be a life-long problem, and with the right help, an addict can successfully overcome his or her addiction.