Gov. Beshear announces plan for funds to curb heroin use

Gov. Beshear announces plan for funds to curb heroin use

KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Governor Steve Beshear took another step to build upon the success of the 2015 landmark anti-heroin legislation he signed by announcing on Monday, June 15 the funding of eight programs aimed at fighting and treating heroin use and substance abuse in Kentucky.

The $10 million in funding is part of Senate Bill 192, bipartisan legislation passed in this year's legislative session aimed at curbing the rise in heroin use and opioid addiction.

The programs funded by the measure range from assistance to addicted mothers of newborns to treatment programs in jails and prisons.

Besides the $10 million in funds for the eight programs, SB 192 offers multiple tactics to reduce the trafficking and abuse of heroin. Traffickers will face stiffer penalties, particularly if heroin is transported across state lines.

A "good Samaritan" provision gives users legal immunity if they report an overdose victim. The measure also authorizes more use of the anti-overdose drug naloxone, and allows communities the option of setting up needle exchanges.

The legislation tasks the Justice and Public Safety secretary with apportioning the $10 million in funds in fiscal year 2016, which starts July 1.

Justice Secretary Michael J. Brown presented his plan on Monday to the legislative Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary.

Funding recommendations include up to:

  • $1 million to the Department of Corrections (DOC) for substance abuse treatment programs for county inmates in local jails.
  • $500,000 to expand substance abuse treatment programs for state inmates in local jails.
  • $1.5 million to DOC for an injectable, Food and Drug Administration-approved extended-release treatment program to prevent an opiate relapse as offenders are released from custody.
  • $2.6 million for grants to community mental health centers to fund additional substance abuse treatment resources on a local level.
  • $1 million to address neonatal abstinence syndrome by assisting with transitional care and wrap-around services.
  • $1.2 million to the Department for Public Advocacy (DPA) to fully fund DPA's social worker program, for the purpose of developing individualized alternative sentencing plans.
  • $1.2 million to the Prosecutors Advisory Council to enhance the use of “rocket docket” prosecutions in controlled substance cases.
  • $1 million to the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy or KY-ASAP to supplement traditional programming.

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