A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Fort Mitchell launches heroin awareness campaign; looking for volunteers to distribute door hangers

With the massive increase in heroin use and the rise in overdoses hitting Northern Kentucky, Fort Mitchell is teaming up with Kenton County, The Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, PDS and the Northern Kentucky Health Department to take on the crisis by creating a public awareness campaign.

fort-mitchell-logoWorking together with the county organizations, Fort Mitchell will kick-off the campaign with a door-to-door drive on Sunday, October 30, to distribute 4,000 informational door hangers to residents throughout the city.

Kenton County Judge-Executive Kris Knochelman and Mayor Jude Hehman will be joined by volunteers to canvass the neighborhoods placing the door hangers. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at the City Building at 2355 Dixie Highway at 12:30 p.m.

“Our families and schools are dealing with the effects of heroin and we must work harder to create awareness about the dangers of heroin and provide assistance for our communities about resources available,” said Hehman. “We are grateful for the support we have received from Judge-Executive Knochelman and the Kenton County agencies who are on the front lines of the heroin crisis.”

Kenton County, in collaboration with the Northern KY Office of Drug Control, Kenton County Detention Center and Boone and Campbell Counties, has created a regional heroin helpline to provide quick response for first responders to intervene with individuals and deal with overdoses.

Hehman

Hehman

“The Northern Kentucky Addiction Helpline is a critical tool in helping those struggling with opiate and heroin addition,” said Knochelman. “Streamlining access to treatment saves lives, and bringing our community together to spread the word about the helpline is an important part of this effort.” The helpline number is 859-415-9280 and will be staffed 24 hours per day.

St. Elizabeth Medical Center handled more than 1,100 overdose emergencies in 2015, over 200 drug-related deaths, and more than 100 babies were born to addicted mothers. The crisis is striking every city and neighborhood, regardless of socio-economic lines.

Community partners working with county leaders have taken the following steps so far this year to tackle the growing problem:

*Creation of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, led by Kim Moser, that is mapping out a strategic plan for how our region can attack this epidemic.

*A nationally recognized substance abuse treatment program at the Kenton County Detention Center started by Jailer Terry Carl that is currently working with 112 men and women, making it one of the largest treatment facilities in Northern Kentucky.

*Regional Heroin Helpline – 859-415-9280 – that has already been recognized as a model in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for helping folks access treatment.

* Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties have been added to the federally-designated Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), to make additional resources available to our local law enforcement agencies.

*Establishing a Quick Response Team, mixing the best qualities of multiple first responder agencies, to intervene with individuals who have previously overdosed.

PDS has provided assistance by mapping the city into sub areas, making it easy for volunteers to fan out into the neighborhoods at the kick-off event on Sunday. Hot chocolate and other refreshments will be available for the volunteers. In addition, The City of Fort Mitchell administrative offices will also be a designated location for safely disposing and dropping off of unused and expired prescription medications on an ongoing basis.

For more information, or to volunteer to distribute door hangers on October 30th, RSVP to jpatterson@fortmitchell.com.

City of Fort Mitchell

 

 

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