Numbered counties in red: 2, Cumberland; 3, Clinton; 10, Robertson; 13, Menifee.
A not-for-profit organization headed by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, who was a doctor before he got into politics, is getting $3,333,333 in federal funds to support its treatment of substance-use disorder through residential housing following the Recovery Kentucky model he initiated as governor.
The grant from the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program of the Department of Health and Human Services
was announced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who helped Fletcher get a $6.6 million grant to start the Fletcher Group
Rural Center of Excellence two years ago
. At that time, a McConnell press release said the center would serve 101 rural counties in eight states, 47 of them in Kentucky.
According to its website
, the group now serves 10 states: Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. It says the 2019 grant totaled $10.4 million, and the group got two other grants that year: $1.6 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission and $250,000 from the Kentucky Opioid Response Effort.
“Driven by the isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the flood of dangerous fentanyl coming across our borders, this past year the commonwealth suffered one of the worst spikes in overdose deaths in the nation, McConnell said in the latest release. “With the targeted prevention, treatment, and enforcement programs at organizations like the Fletcher Group, Kentucky’s rural communities will be empowered to fight addiction and put an end to this crisis.”
Fletcher said in the release, “We thank Senator McConnell for his long-standing and steadfast support for addiction services and recovery housing for those with substance use disorders. . . . Recovery housing has successfully demonstrated positive long-term outcomes for high-risk individuals dealing with addiction.”