Poll indicates Northern Kentucky is having a heroin epidemic

A poll indicates that Northern Kentucky is the hotbed for heroin use in the state, which has increased since the state legislature cracked down on abuse of prescription painkillers.

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll, conducted Oct. 25 through Nov. 26, found that 30 percent of the respondents in Northern Kentucky said they knew of a family member or friend who had experienced problems as a result of using heroin. Responses in other regions of the state ranged from 7 to 9 percent, well within the poll’s error margin of 2.5 percentage points.

The poll was conducted among Kentucky adults by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Its findings are corroborated by repirts from police and hospitals in the region, as reported by Terry DeMio of The Kentucky Enquirer.

The foundation noted in its press release, “Cross-sector advocates in Northern Kentucky mobilized in September 2012 to look at the problem of heroin and in 2013 released a report, “Northern Kentucky’s Collective Response to the Heroin Epidemic: Our Plan for Recovery.” It also noted that Kentucky ranks third in the nation for drug-overdose deaths, behind West Virginia and New Mexico.

The poll also asked respondents if they had family members or friends who had experienced problems as a result of abusing prescription painkillers. Twenty-seven percent said they had, down from 33 percent in 2012. The question did not specify a time period.

Methamphetamine has also been a popular illegal drug in Kentucky. The poll found that 15 percent of Kentucky adults reported knowing friends or family members who had experienced problems as a result of using meth. For the foundation’s release, click here.

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