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Decisions still to come on how to spend opioid abatement settlement funds in Lexington

Stu Johnson

One of the people on the front line in Lexington's struggle with opioid overdoses says Narcan training takes many forms.

Members of a Lexington Council committee received an update on intervention measures last week.

Lexington Overdose Prevention Coordinator Scott Luallen said fentanyl is a synthetic opioid easily made with a sugar-packet-sized amount able to kill 50 people. Luallen said for those in active addiction using street drugs, it’s not if you’re going to overdose, it’s when. And many O-D daily.

“But they have Narcan and that’s the only thing that’s preventing what was last year in Fayette County 177 overdose deaths from being a thousand overdose deaths,” said Luallen.

Luallen said he’s been conducting Narcan training at non-traditional locations like bus stops, bars, gas stations along high-risk corridors. .

A Lexington advisory group is gearing up to make recommendations to the mayor about how to spend around $6 million in opioid abatement litigation funds. Carmen Combs-Marks is Substance Use Disorder Intervention Coordinator. She said money can be put into existing and new programs.

“So we are on target in submitting that recovery ready application that serves like a needs assessment, so we can have a better idea..it paints a bigger clearer picture of where we are and kind of where we need to move in the future,” said Combs Marks.

One item discussed during the Council committee meeting was sober living houses. Operators are being asked to attend a meeting this Thursday to get a full understanding of responsibilities. Scott Luallen said some are doing well while others need to, quote, “up their game.”

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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