COVINGTON, Ky. (May 9, 2017) – With the massive increase in heroin use and the rise in overdoses hitting Northern Kentucky, the City of Erlanger is teaming up with Kenton County, The Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, PDS and the Northern Kentucky Health Department to take on the crisis by creating a public awareness campaign. Working together with the county organizations, Erlanger will join the campaign with a door-to-door drive on Sunday, May 21st, 2017 to distribute nearly 10,000 informational door hangers to residents throughout the city. Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann and Mayor Tyson Hermes will be joined by volunteers to canvass the neighborhoods placing the door hangers. Volunteers are encouraged to meet at the Erlanger City Building, 505 Commonwealth Avenue, Erlanger, KY 41018, at 12:30 p.m.
"Just like all of Northern Kentucky, we are dealing with the effects of heroin and we must make sure our residents and business owners realize this," said Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes. "We have to educate and provide the resources available to us to be able to fight this heroin epidemic head-on. I applaud Kenton County Judge-Executive Kris Knochelmann and the local agencies involved in this ongoing battle. We are asking volunteers to show up in full force at our city building on Sunday, May 21 and go out and help us hang door hangers to make everyone more aware of the danger of heroin."
Kenton County, in collaboration with the Northern KY Office of Drug Control, Kenton County Detention Center and Boone and Campbell Counties, has created a regional heroin helpline to provide quick response for first responders to intervene with individuals and deal with overdoses.
“The Northern Kentucky Addiction Helpline is a critical tool in helping those struggling with opiate and heroin addition,” said Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann. “Streamlining access to treatment saves lives, and bringing our community together to spread the word about the helpline is an important part of this effort.” The helpline number is 859-415-9280 and will be staffed 24 hours per day.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center handled over 1,100 overdose emergencies in 2015, over 200 drug-related deaths, and more than 100 babies were born to addicted mothers. The crisis is striking every city and neighborhood, regardless of socio-economic lines.
Community partners working with county leaders have taken the following steps so far this year to tackle the growing problem:
*Creation of the Northern Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, led by Kim Moser, that is mapping out a strategic plan for how our region can attack this epidemic.
*A nationally recognized substance abuse treatment program at the Kenton County Detention Center started by Jailer Terry Carl that is currently working with 125 men and women, making it one of the largest treatment facilities in Northern Kentucky.
*Regional Heroin Helpline – 859-415-9280 – that has already been recognized as a model in the Commonwealth of Kentucky for helping folks access treatment.
* Boone, Campbell and Kenton Counties have been added to the federally-designated Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), to make additional resources available to our local law enforcement agencies.
*Establishing a Quick Response Team, mixing the best qualities of multiple first responder agencies, to intervene with individuals who have previously overdosed.
PDS has provided assistance by mapping the city into sub areas, making it easy for volunteers to fan out into the neighborhoods at the kick-off event on Sunday.
For more information, or to volunteer to distribute door hangers on May 21st, RSVP to Kenton County Fiscal Court’s Digital Communications Coordinator Sara Sgantas at Sara.Sgantas@KentonCounty.org or by calling (859) 392-1400.
For more information, you can view the door to door flyer by clicking this link.