Operation UNITE’s Karen Kelly led off with some of the most disturbing data I’ve ever seen on the impact of opioids in Kentucky and the country.
- average age of first drug use is 11. Eleven.
- in some counties, 50% of children are being raised with no parents in the home.
Operation UNITE is doing terrific work in Kentucky – sponsoring treatment, supporting narcotics enforcement and interdiction, buying drug lock boxes for homes, education of kids and others, sponsoring summer camps, building community coalitions, and drug-free workplace training – among many other initiatives.
And their work is paying off – there’s been a year over year decrease in dispensing of all controlled substances by 11.7% in their area.
There are a wealth of resources available on their site, from videos to educational materials to news and updates on progress in the battle against opioid abuse.
(I’m moderating a session at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit with Washington state’s Gary Franklin MD and Amy Lee of Texas DWC addressing opioids in workers’ comp at their annual meeting in early April.) There are several other sessions addressing opioids, detailing what works, what doesn’t, strategies and results.