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National Drug Control Policy Director Talks Heroin With Ky. Healthcare Workers

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The director of White House Office of National Drug Control Policy traveled to Northern Kentucky this week for a roundtable discussion on heroin. And the meeting highlighted shortcomings in the state’s efforts to get addicts into treatment.

At St. Elizabeth Medical Center, which has reported a tripling in the number of heroin overdose cases over the past four years, Michael Bottocelli met with Sen. Mitch McConnell and hospital staff to discuss both the progress that’s been made and the areas where Kentucky lags behind.

During a later chamber event covered by cn|2, the director said he’s heard the concerns of those working on the front lines, including "...getting more physicians to be able to prescribe some of these life-saving medications, looking at some rules that Medicaid has that keep programs small."

"I think there were a number of suggestions that came out today that we need to take back to Washington [and] work at the federal level," the drug czar said.

On the positive side, Bottocelli applauded Kentucky’s 22 Drug Free Community Programs, which provide grants to community coalitions tasked with developing prevention strategies in local communities.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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