A federally funded anti-drug program will add two more Kentucky counties to its coverage area, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced Monday.
Madison and Nelson counties will join the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, according to the announcement.
The HIDTA program provides funding for drug investigations, coordinates work by different police agencies and analyzes tips and data about drug problems in parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee.
It was originally founded in 1998 to focus on the problem of marijuana cultivation in Appalachian areas of the three states, but has broadened its focus to prescription pills, methamphetamine and other substances because of the severe drug problem in the area.
It has added a number of counties well outside Appalachia, including Jefferson and Hardin and the two counties announced Monday.
There are now 31 Kentucky counties in the HIDTA program.
Frank Rapier, head of the Appalachia HIDTA, said he expects the addition of more counties to the program will mean more funding as well.
Rapier said he would not recommend shifting money away from drug investigations in areas of Eastern Kentucky hit hard by drug abuse in order to serve other areas.
The program's annual budget is $6.6 million.