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UK Receives $87 Million To Help Stem Overdose Deaths

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CDC
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Researchers from the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research have received an $87 million federal grant to study how to prevent overdose deaths.

The goal of the 4-year effort is to reduce overdose deaths by 40 percent in 16 Kentucky counties. 

The grant is part of an initiative called NIH HEAL---- Helping to End Addiction Long-term. It is an effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid crisis.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar announced the award at a press conference Thursday in Washington D.C.

The counties in the study are: Fayette, Jessamine, Clark, Kenton, Campbell, Mason, Greenup, Carter, Boyd, Knox, Jefferson, Franklin, Boyle, Madison, Bourbon  and Floyd.  Overall, these communities had 764 opioid overdose deaths in 2017 with two-thirds of them involving fentanyl.

In total there were about 47,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2017. 

The grant is the largest the university has recieved. The university’s largest previous grant was a $25 million award for math and science education in Appalachia.

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