BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Gov. Matt Bevin says first responders in parts of Kentucky are receiving doses of Narcan to help fight drug overdoses.

Bevin, executives from Aetna and officials from northern Kentucky are announcing a partnership that will give 720 doses of the medication to first responders in northern Kentucky and Appalachian regions in an effort to prevent drug overdose deaths. The kits include two doses of nasal spray Narcan.

"We are grateful to Aetna for their generous donation in support of Kentucky's fight against the opioid epidemic," said Gov. Bevin. "We don't have the luxury of pretending there isn't a problem and Aetna is helping us address this issue head on. Every single life has value and is worth saving. It is up to all of us to work together and find real, long-lasting solutions."

The announcement was made Wednesday at the Boone County Sheriff's Office.

“First responders are uniquely positioned to address the terrible effects of the opioid crisis—particularly in Kentucky, were overdose deaths increased significantly from 2015 to 2016,” said Hal L. Paz, M.D., M.S., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Aetna. “Providing Narcan kits to first responders will save lives, granting those affected the opportunity to receive the long-term treatment and support they need.”

Drug overdose deaths in Kentucky soared to unprecedented levels in 2016, jumping 7.4 percent, according to a report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.