UK receives $1 million federal grant to fight opioid crisis

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky College of Social Work received a little over $1 million in federal grants to help fight the opioid epidemic.

UK said in a press release, to achieve long-term sobriety mental health professionals are taking on an increased importance.

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The money will go towards students getting hands-on experience, training in Appalachian communities.

Kalea Beener is on faculty member helping run the new project. She said it is a win-win for the Commonwealth and students.

“It’s not just support for our communities in treating this substance use disorder, but really also to help our students to facilitate knowledge and gain skill and working with folks with substance use disorders, because it’s going to be anywhere and everywhere,” she said.

The program is for graduate students in the College of Social Work and the College of Education.

It kicks in this fall semester.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com