N. Ky. Chamber to ask state for more funding to fight heroin; London police make first known heroin trafficking arrests there

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is planning to lobby the state for more funding for heroin treatment after receiving reports from business and law enforcement about the breadth and depth of the drug problem in the region. Terry DeMio of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the chamber’s Geraldyn Isler says the area has the “highest volume of people in the state needing substance abuse treatment but is receiving the least amount of funding.”

According to the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force, 63 percent of heroin possession and trafficking prosecutions in Kentucky are in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties, the three urbanized counties in the region.

A 2007 University of Kentucky study that shows that the region led the commonwealth in people needing substance abuse treatment, but that it also received the lowest per capita funding from staff coffers for those mental health services for more than a decade.

The chamber told DeMio there are many “hidden costs” to such abuse. Among those costs: increased employee absenteeism, tardiness, job-related injuries and errors. It also notes employee-employer conflict, greater health-insurance costs and crime as likely outcomes of heroin in the region.  (Read more)

There could be other requests for more funding for heroin treatment. This week the London Police Department made the first known arrests for heroin trafficking in Laurel County, The Sentinel-Echo reports.

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