FRANKFORT - It seems most everyone these days has, in one way or another, been affected by drug abuse or knows someone who has. Drug addiction has risen to epidemic proportions, and while the problem seems to continue to increase, treatment options are often few and far between.
In an ongoing effort to continue to make more treatment options available, Governor Steve Beshear announced this week that Kentucky is the recipient of three federal grants totaling more than $6 million to be used over the next three years to target drug abuse among those 12-25 years old.
According to a release on the funding, programs will be aimed at adolescents with mental health and substance use disorders and help fight underage drinking and prescription drug abuse.
“This funding will bolster our efforts to reduce the devastating impact of substance abuse on so many of our Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “Helping those with substance abuse issues has been an ongoing goal of my administration, one that ultimately strengthens our communities and our Commonwealth.”
The Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) received the funding from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. DBHDID is housed within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS).
“I commend the Department for pursuing and receiving these additional federal grant funds to support substance abuse treatment and prevention,” said CHFS Secretary Audrey Tayse Haynes. “The fight against substance abuse in Kentucky is one of the most important challenges we face. These funds will help provide us with new tools to combat abuse and assist with treatment for those battling addiction.”
The first grant, for $2.8 million, is designed to improve treatment for adolescents with mental health and substance use disorders who are at imminent risk or are already involved with the juvenile justice system. The funding will be allotted to two community-based treatment providers in Whitley and Campbell counties to enhance treatment infrastructure in Cumberland River and the northern Kentucky regions.
The state is also receiving $2.7 million to target underage drinking statewide among those aged 12-20 and prescription drug misuse and abuse among those 12-25 years of age. This funding will include a partnership with Kentucky’s Regional Prevention Centers.
The third grant provides $750,000 to enrich and intensify treatment services for clients served in the Families Moving Beyond Abuse (FMBA) program in Bullitt County. FMBA serves families with co-occurring parental substance abuse and child maltreatment. The funding will serve 25 participants a year during the life of the grant.
“The efforts funded by these new grants are exactly the kind of creative approach we must take to improve the lives of Kentuckians at risk of or already dealing with substance abuse issues,” said Stephen Hall, DBHDID commissioner. “The programs involved recognize the larger benefits to families and communities when we can prevent or help individuals with substance abuse.”