Heroin use has increased and opioid abuse remains high in Kentucky, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) report. KHIP is an annual poll of Kentucky adults about health issues and is jointly funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health. Twenty-seven percent of Kentucky adults say they know someone who has abused prescription pain medication, and 17 percent know someone who is using heroin, up from nine percent in 2013.
Adults who reported that they had family members or friends who had experienced problems because of substance use span the entire state. In the eight counties comprising the Northern Kentucky region, nearly four in 10 adults reported knowing a friend or family member who had problems due to heroin, and nearly three in 10 knew someone who abused prescription pain medications. Methamphetamines continue to plague Kentucky as well: 17 percent of adults statewide said they knew of friends or family who used them. While heroin was less of a problem in Western Kentucky, that region of the state appears to be experiencing problems with meth (21 percent of adults there knew someone with a problem) and prescription drugs (24 percent of adults there knew someone with a problem).
Opioid misuse has been a growing public health concern for some years in the United States. Kentucky’s experience with both prescription and illicit opioid abuse has been more severe and longer-lived than that of most other states. This year, the foundation’s Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum will focus exclusively on the substance use crisis in Kentucky. The free public forum will take place September 25th in Lexington, Kentucky.
Click below to access the KHIP poll“Heroin, methamphetamine use and
prescription drug abuse in Kentucky.”
Contact: Bonnie J. Hackbarth