Five Kentucky clinics will get a total of $1.8 million to combat addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday.
A total of 271 health centers in 45 states will receive $94 million in funds under the Affordable Care Act to treat opioid addiction.
According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 1,087 Kentucky residents died of overdoses in 2014, including 204 in Jefferson County and 112 in Fayette County.
HHS estimates that overdose deaths from prescription pain medications quadrupled from 1999 to 2013 and that deaths related to heroin increased 39 percent from 2012 to 2013.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
The government estimates that 4.5 million Americans used prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons in 2013 and 289,000 used heroin.
1,087 Number of Kentuckians who died of overdoses in 2014
“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
Burwell said the funds would support treatment for 124,000 new patients in underserved areas.
In Kentucky, funding recipients include Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, as well as clinics in Louisville, Burkesville, Mount Sterling and Whitesburg.
Five states surrounding Kentucky received $1 million or more: West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.
Kentucky counties with the highest rates of overdose deaths, per 100,000 population, 2014:
Source: Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy