Kentucky is poised to receive $18 million in the next two years to treat addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin under the president’s 2017 budget, the White House announced Tuesday.
In February, President Barack Obama proposed $1.1 billion in new funding to support addiction treatment and recovery efforts. The amounts Kentucky and other states would be eligible to receive were announced Tuesday.
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Kentucky has a drug poisoning rate that’s well above the national average and has the fourth highest drug poisoning death rate among states.
The amount Kentucky and other states would receive ultimately will depend on Congress, which is considering a series of bills to address the crisis.
More than 1,000 Kentuckians died of drug overdoses in 2014, according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.
More than 1,000 Kentuckians died of opioid overdoses in 2014, including prescription painkillers and heroin, according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. More than 28,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses that year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The opioid crisis has gripped economically struggling Appalachia hard, with Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio among states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths. But it has also affected more prosperous Americans.
Opioids played a role in the April 21 death of rock musician Prince at his suburban Minneapolis recording studio. An autopsy report found that he’d died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that’s 50 times more potent than heroin.
Drug poisoning death rates
1. West Virginia
2. New Mexico
3. New Hampshire
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention