Lexington coming together to slow down the opioid epidemic

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Lexington community is coming together to slow down the opioid epidemic.

“As we move into September and National Recovery Month, we find that our City is united in its determination to find answers to this crisis,” Mayor Linda Gorton said.

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When Gorton took office in January she announced that finding an effective way to help Lexington citizens escape opioid addiction would be a priority for her administration.

“We knew that addiction was affecting all demographics in our City, was detrimental to our labor force, was diverting funding from much needed initiatives and most importantly, was literally a matter of life and death.” Gorton devoted a staff member, full-time to the work.

James said, “It is clear to me, that Lexington is equipped with the people, organizations and resources to make a strong stand against opioid and substance use disorder. From prevention to workforce development, with amplification, resources and other types of support, we can collectively respond to this crisis and, together, save lives.”

Gorton invited three agencies, the City’s Department of Social Services, the League of Women Voters and New Visa to discuss their programs at Tuesday’s news conference.

• The City’s Department of Social Services has been leading the efforts on this issue for quite some time. Scott Luallen, our Overdose Prevention Specialist, is hosting a Faces of Recovery and Narcan training event at the Central Branch Library as a part of Recovery Awareness Month. This event will feature people in various forms of recovery to demonstrate that the roads to recovery can look very different.

• Members of the League of Women voters are rolling up their sleeves and wading into this issue. Members will share information about the League’s “Lex Talk About Opioids” community conversation, demonstrating the type of civic engagement needed to make a difference.

• New Vista, formerly Bluegrass.Org, is a pivotal organization in Lexington when it comes to substance abuse recovery, often addressing cases where mental illness and substance use disorder occur together. New Vista’s Executive Director Jim Bush and his team have put together a webinar about the various forms of medication assisted treatment.