Awareness key to winning overdose, addiction fight: Voice of Experience

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to an article in the Washington Post, drug overdoses have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was an 18 percent jump nationally in March, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May and the numbers haven’t shown any indication of subsiding.

A woman in Woodford County is trying combat the issue across the region.

The fight against opioid abuse continues in the Commonwealth. Just recently the state received $35 million in federal funding to battle the epidemic. But money alone will not solve the problem, experts say.

And those who have seen and lived the tragedy know it isn’t the only answer.

“Whether it’s heart disease, cancer whatever. The more you know about it, the better you can handle it,” said Brittany Campbell, creator of Strengthening Transformations Inc.

It’s a Woodford County-based non-profit designed to make people aware of overdoses and possible solutions to helping those who are addicted.

“You might not be ready for treatment. A lot say they are, you get them a bed somewhere, they’re a no-call, no-show… it just has to be on their time, knowing they have a support system when they are ready, they have someone to go to,” said Campbell.

Campbell is no stranger the problem of drugs. Just recently she lost a relative to overdose.

“My cousin overdosed, she had a set of 4-year-old twins. She was only 24, just couldn’t knock it. A friend asked her to try it, she got addicted. Within a year she was dead,” Campbell observed.

It’s a stark reminder that it can happen to anyone.

“It can be you, it can be a relative, it can be a loved one. How would you want to be treated if it was you?” said Campbell.

Last year,1,316 people died from overdose in Kentucky. And the total is on track to exceed that. As an example, Fayette County already has suffered two more deaths this year than it did in all of 2019. That came after two years of declines.

And Kentucky has one of the top five overdose mortality rates in the country.

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