Several KY counties seek to improve Northern KY drug treatment efforts by creating a shared policy center for the region, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Northern KY Office of Drug Control Policy is planned to open July 1, 2015, using funds from three counties in the region: Kenton, Boone, and Campbell Counties. This regional office will be tasked with the research and proposal of effective drug treatment and prevention methods for the counties, which are facing tough problems with drug abuse, especially from heroin.
Although the counties involved have met with some moderate success in dealing with the drug crisis, Northern KY drug treatment is still in need of advancements that will improve the outlook for community health in the region. The new Office of Drug Control Policy aims to target drug control strategies that are working where they are in place and ensure they are at least proposed for use across the region. It will also be coordinating efforts that have already been proposed in the counties.
Northern KY drug treatment goals include treatment in jails, resources for pregnant women
One of the initial goals of the office will be to integrate evidence-based, medication-assisted treatment in county jail systems. This goal dovetails with Kenton County’s previously reported plans to include a substance abuse treatment program in the expansion of its county jail. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the recommendation for medication-assisted treatment is a novel approach for a region whose courts have previously used abstinence-based treatment only.
Some other goals of the Northern KY Office of Drug Control Policy include outreach and mobilization of community resources and organizations and providing resources for families looking for help for loved ones fighting drug abuse. It has also been tasked with finding more treatment solutions for pregnant women struggling with substance abuse.
Funding still an issue, but region committed to working together to improve Northern KY drug treatment
Of course, funding will be needed in order to make the policy center a reality. At least $80,000 in funding has been proposed by the combined counties of Kenton, Boone, and Campbell, in addition to the leasing of state office space in Campbell County, where the office is expected to be located. However, so far only the Kenton County Fiscal Court has allocated any funding ($40,000). Boone County is expected to match these funds but have yet to formally allocate them.
Plans for creating the Northern KY Office of Drug Control Policy signal the region’s desire to form alliances and work together in order to solve the problems of the heroin epidemic. The Northern KY Heroin Impact Response Team, which has been researching effective methods to fight the heroin crisis for three years, supports the creation of the office. As different counties join in shared efforts and share policy proposals, Northern KY drug treatment looks to improve, offering communities hope for an end to the worst of the drug epidemic.