According to the 2022 Overdose Fatality Report released today by Gov. Andy Beshear, 2,135 Kentuckians lost their lives to a drug overdose in 2022. This was a 5 percent decline compared to 2021 and is the first time in four years that Kentucky saw a year-over-year decline in drug overdose fatalities.
“We are encouraged that drug overdose deaths in Kentucky seem to be trending downward. However, one life lost to an overdose is still too many,” said Matt Brown, Chief Administration Officer of Addiction Recovery Care (ARC). “Drug overdose fatalities still remain above pre-pandemic levels, but having been on the frontlines of this crisis for many years, we have a blueprint for what works. We must continue to bolster our treatment and recovery infrastructure and ensure all Kentuckians can access the comprehensive services they need for long-term recovery.”
ARC provides treatment and recovery services to thousands of men and women in communities across the commonwealth. They are currently preparing to open Bellefonte Treatment and Recovery Center in Greenup County. This will be ARC’s first inpatient psychiatric hospital, which will allow them to better address the growing need to treat both substance use disorder and serious mental illness. ARC’s first residential treatment center in western Kentucky is on track to open this summer, and centers in Ohio and Virginia will also open within the next year.
“There has never been a more dangerous and deadly time to be using drugs or living with a substance use disorder,” added Brown. “People need to know that treatment is available, and recovery is possible. We will continue to do everything we can to spread that message and get people the help they need, as soon as they need it.”
In a press release, Gov. Beshear said, “Seeing a decrease in overdose deaths is encouraging, but we still have a long way to go, because one Kentucky life lost to overdose is one too many. As your Governor, I will work every day to improve access to treatment and programs to help those fighting this disease to win while also providing Kentucky’s law enforcement with more resources to get these dangerous drugs off our streets.”