Mitch McConnell, drug czar address heroin in NKY - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Mitch McConnell, drug czar address heroin in NKY

National drug czar Michael Botticelli. National drug czar Michael Botticelli.
Trey Grayson, President on NKY Chamber of Commerce, says heroin is not only a personal and family issue but also impacts workforce. Trey Grayson, President on NKY Chamber of Commerce, says heroin is not only a personal and family issue but also impacts workforce.
COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - By Sara Celi

A joint meeting between the NKY Chamber of Commerce, Senator Mitch McConnell and National Drug Policy director Michael Botticelli addressed the ongoing heroin problem in Northern Kentucky Thursday.

The meeting took place at the Metropolitan Club and covered challenges presented by the ongoing heroin epidemic.

McConnell and the Botticelli, who was appointed the nation's Drug Czar earlier this year, also touched on prevention, prosecution and treatment/recovery efforts.

"All told, the Kentucky office of drug control policy reports that about a thousand Kentuckians lose their lives accidentally by fatally overdosing on drugs every year. To put that in perspective, that's more people lost than in car crashes, in Kentucky, on an annual basis," Botticelli said.

Several local, regional and national government figures are working on the issue. Northern Kentucky has been called “Ground Zero” for the heroin epidemic.

"We really need to amp up our work on creating and giving schools opportunities to implement good prevention programs at the school level," Botticelli said.

When asked why the drug use is so concentrated in the Northern Kentucky area, Botticelli said he couldn't answer it specifically, but said it usually starts with abuse of prescription pills.

Some blame NKY's heroin problem on the price of the drug. At $9 a dose, it's cheaper than many prescription drugs or other illegal substances.


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