ASAP subcommittee meets to discuss future plans to fight drug epidemic

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Clark County ASAP, standing for Agency for Substance Abuse Policy, looks to strengthen the fight against the ongoing area drug epidemic.

ASAP’s Overdose Prevention Subcommittee met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss new business, review data and more.

“We’re fortunate to have the recovery community center. We’re fortunate to have the [Clark County] Health Department [that is] already doing a lot of things,” said Lindsay Horseman, the program director at Achieving Recovery Together.

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Along with Horseman, the subcommittee meeting featured – both in-person and via Zoom –  Mayor JoEllen Reed, social worker Ron Kibbey, Clark County Community Services Housing Director Tish Shupe, Clark County Health Department

 One area that the committee focused on was the Recovery Ready Communities Certification Program, which is designed to provide a quality measure using a ranking system of a city or county’s recovery efforts toward treating substance abuse disorder. The rankings are based on categories such as prevention, treatment and recovery support.

For example, four points can be tallied under ‘prevention” for creating safe medication disposal sites/programs, while three points can be gathered under “recovery support” for holding meetings that occur at least once per day.

The categories are also designed to meet the needs of different individuals and purposes, including the general community, schools, harm reduction and healthcare.

Added together, a total composite score based on the size of the town’s population determines if a benchmark has been met.

In the case of Winchester, with approximately 20,000 residents, this number is 180.

Dallas Hurley the general counsel with the Kentucky House Democratic Caucus, also joined the meeting and explained the system.“We just want to make sure that any services within a city or any services that are talked about in the application would be available to both city residents and county residents,” said Hurley. “[We want to] make sure that everyone in both jurisdictions has access to these services or intervention…that’s something we care about from our perspective.”

Speaking with the Clark County Fiscal Court and Winchester City Commission regarding such matters is something the subcommittee showed openness to.

Also, the subcommittee had Sgt. Monty Corbett of the Winchester Police Department present to discuss overdose statistics.

Corbett, who recently teamed up with Horseman to develop and implement the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) – pointed out some recent data on overdose statistics.

“Last year, the police department itself administered 151 doses of Narcan to individuals experiencing an overdose we had 202 reported overdoses here in Clark County,” he said. “So far this year, we’ve had 10 calls for overdose and zero fatalities.”

After starting a reporting procedure in 2020 following public concern regarding not having the ability to track needles, the number of ‘needle-found’ calls has dropped from 48 to 29 in the last two years.

The next Clark County ASAP Overdose Prevention Subcommittee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1 at 2:00 p.m.

As they look to move forward, Ron Kibbey also mentioned that reflection is worthwhile.

“It brings some light to the efforts that this community has made as well as identifying gaps,” he said. “I think recognizing what you’ve done is just as important as recognizing what you need to do.”