U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch addressed a packed auditorium at the University of Kentucky on Tuesday. She came to the commonwealth to discuss the opioid epidemic and how the White House plans to address it.
President Barack Obama has proclaimed this week as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. Lynch and other federal, state, and local officials are holding public events around the country to draw attention to the extent of the crisis.
“The explosion in opioid and heroin abuse in the U.S. in recent years is truly an epidemic and no one is immune,” Lynch said. “Just a few weeks ago, the Department of Health and Human Services released new numbers showing that 3.8 million people ages 12 and older are currently misusing prescription pain relievers in our country – a stunning indication of just how widespread this phenomenon has become.”
Lynch announced $8.8 million in grant funding for a drug monitoring program named in honor of Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-5). That money will help 20 organizations, including the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, enhance their tracking of opioid-based prescription drugs and develop innovative responses to the opioid crisis.
Here are Lynch’s remarks at UK.
You can see KET’s complete coverage of the opioid epidemic at KET.org/opioids.