Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2014 at 4:16 PM

   FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- A new state report shows more people continue to die from heroin overdoses in Kentucky.
 
   The Office of Drug Control Policy says 230 people died from heroin overdoses in 2013, a 60 percent increase from 2012. In 2011, 22 people in Kentucky died from heroin overdoses.
 
   State lawmakers failed to pass a bill this year that would have paid more for substance abuse treatment and strengthened sentences for heroin traffickers.
 
   State Sen. John Schickel has filed a bill for the 2015 legislative session that would increase criminal penalties for heroin traffickers. State Rep. Tom Burch says he is working on a bill that would focus more on treatment programs than incarceration.
 
   It cost taxpayers $21,798 a year to incarcerate someone versus $6,000 a year to treat someone for substance abuse.

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