FRANKFORT, Ky. (NEWS RELEASE) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced that community mental health centers and residential treatment facilities across the state will receive more than $3.5 million in grants to help treat prescription drug and heroin abuse, and address neonatal abstinence syndrome in Kentucky.
The grant program is part of Senate Bill 192, Kentucky's landmark heroin legislation passed by the 2015 General Assembly with the support of Gov. Beshear to address Kentucky's widespread substance abuse problem.
Funding for the grant awards is part of a larger allocation of funds attached to the heroin bill.
"Substance abuse continues to be one of the most stubborn, damaging public health and safety issues facing our Commonwealth," Gov. Beshear said. "Not only has this scourge exacted a tremendous toll on our social services, workforce, economic stability and growth, but it's also caused immeasurable suffering for thousands of families, and its impact is now reaching the most innocent and vulnerable – newborns. This grant funding will help us reach more people and get them the treatment they need to overcome their addiction."
When Gov. Beshear took office in 2007, Kentucky had little money to attack the challenge of substance abuse.
"But through innovative strategies and bold initiatives, we were able to make tangible progress," he said. "We've worked across party lines to target methamphetamine, prescription drug abuse, synthetic drugs and, most recently, heroin."
The $3.5 million in funding will go to centers that provide behavioral and medication assisted therapy services for people in treatment for addiction, and to residential treatment services for pregnant women battling substance abuse.
Gov. Beshear said that in Fiscal Year 2015, community mental health centers served 15,709 individuals with substance use disorders, or about 5 percent of the population in Kentucky estimated to have a substance use disorder.
"There are many more individuals in need of services and while many are not willing to seek treatment, there are also many who will seek treatment as it becomes more accessible," Gov. Beshear said.
The community mental health centers receiving funding include:
• Pathways, Ashland, $320,000;
• Communicare, Elizabethtown, $320,000;
• North Key, Northern Kentucky, $320,000;
• River Valley, Owensboro, $193,000
• Bluegrass, Lexington area, $308,300;
• Kentucky River, Jackson area, $320,000;
• Pennyroyal, Hopkinsville area, $292,200;
• Seven Counties, Louisville area, $247,400; and
• Mountain Comp Care, Prestonsburg area, $244,000.
Four additional programs providing residential treatment for pregnant women also will receive grant awards. They include:
• Transitions Inc., northern Kentucky, $219,600;
• Mountain Comprehensive Care, Prestonsburg, $250,000;
• Chrysalis House, Lexington, $250,000; and
• Volunteers of America, Louisville, $249,300.
"The comprehensive heroin legislation passed by the General Assembly will provide the crucial foundation to continue the fight against heroin addiction. However, we were faced with the very real problem of not being able to fund the necessary increase in treatment until 2016, during the next budget session," said Rep. Sannie Overly, of Paris. "We could not wait another year to provide what was so desperately needed. I was proud to offer the amendment to provide funding for these programs this year. Giving these programs additional funding now will make a difference in the lives of Kentuckians dealing with addiction before the crisis gets worse. For the countless families impacted by heroin, this effort will literally be a lifesaver."
"As a member of the conference committee that pushed for final passage of comprehensive reform as it relates to the heroin scourge in Kentucky, I am excited to see the law begin to work," said Sen. Chris McDaniel, of Taylor Mill. "A critical aspect of stopping the heroin epidemic is to address the substance abuse treatment needs for all Kentuckians – specifically pregnant mothers. I am looking forward to further addressing these needs during the upcoming legislative session."
The Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (BHDID) will collaborate with KY-ASAP for the distribution and monitoring of funds for the grant program.
The goal of the program is to serve adults diagnosed with a substance abuse disorder or a co-occurring mental illness with a substance abuse diagnosis.
Awardees must demonstrate a commitment to ensuring individuals have access to evidence-based services and supports that include outpatient, medication-assisted, individuals, group, family, intensive outpatient, crisis, case management, residential treatment and recovery support services.
"Substance abuse continues to plague Kentucky. It's taken a toll on individuals as well as the infants who experience neonatal abstinence syndrome when they are exposed to opiates while their mothers are pregnant," said Audrey Tayse Haynes, cabinet secretary for Health and Family Services. "This problem remains an epidemic, but it is one we continue to fight. We are happy to be able to support our CMHCs and residential treatment facilities with this grant funding and enhance services for individuals battling heroin and prescription drug abuse."