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Report: Kentucky Second In Drug Overdose Deaths


Kentucky is nearly leading the nation in drug overdose deaths – that’s according to a report released Wednesday by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

According to the Facts Hurt survey of all injury-related deaths in the U.S., close to 25 per 100,000 people in the Commonwealth die of drug overdoses. And while the grim statistic puts Kentucky behind only one other state, West Virginia, trust executive director Jeffrey Levi says lawmakers and health advocates are taking the right steps.

"If I were in another state and was seeing some of the trends that are in the data across the country, I would actually look to some of the models that Kentucky as put in place to make sure that I had those in place early...  so that they would not just be a response to the problem but actually could become a prevention tool as well," he said during a conference call with reporters.

Levi says, with one of the largest epidemics in the country, Kentucky is playing catch-up to some extent, but the state is hardly alone. According to the report, drug overdose deaths have more than doubled nationwide over the past 14 years.

Taking all injury-related deaths into account, Kentucky ranks seventh highest in the country.

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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