Skip to main
University-wide Navigation
Magnifying glass

In 2018, Kentucky had the ninth highest age-adjusted drug overdose fatality rate in the United States, at 30.9 deaths per 100,000 people. The corresponding U.S. rate for the same time period was 20.7 per 100,000 people. Opioids continue to be involved in a large proportion of overdoses—approximately 75% of Kentucky resident overdose deaths in the last five years. Additionally, the proportion of Kentucky resident overdose deaths involving fentanyl has doubled from 20% in 2015 to 40% in 2019. Poisoning was the leading cause of injury-related mortality for Kentucky residents age 24-64 years from 2016-2019. For data requests, click here. To view the drug overdose county profiles, click here.

Drug Overdose PreventionPrograms

This initiative leverages prescription drug monitoring data through linkage with electronic health records and public heath surveillance data to develop prescriber- and patient-targeted interventions, thereby addressing both supply and demand in the context of opioid overuse and misuse.


Svetla Slavova, PhD, Principal Investigator Douglas Oyler, PharmD, Co-Principal Investigator

The project aims to: 1) analyze gabapentin prescribing in Kentucky since July 1, 2017, when gabapentin became a Schedule V controlled substance; 2) evaluate the effect of Kentucky’s 2017 SB32, which amended KRS 218A.202 to require the Administrative Office of the Courts to forward drug conviction data to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for inclusion in KASPER (Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting); and 3) develop continuing education for use of drug…

Recovery housing, commonly referred to as sober living homes, recovery homes, or recovery residencies, are safe, healthy, family-like substance-free living environments that support individuals in recovery from substance use disorders, commonly referred to as addiction. At present, little is known about recovery housing in the state of Kentucky.

P1: Surveys of Clinical and Pharmacy Practice Involving Abuse-Deterrent Formulations

Lead: Patricia Freeman, RPh, PhD, FAPhA, FNAP, University of Kentucky (project years 1, 2, and 3)

The Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, as a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, will collaborate with state, university, and community partners to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Overdose to Action (OD2A) surveillance strategies, including timely analysis of drug overdose emergency department encounters, fatal drug overdoses using multiple data sources, and an innovative public health surveillance strategy using remnant serum…

The Rural Center of Excellence supports evidence-based, evidence-informed, and promising practice-based programs and interventions to prevent and treat substance use disorders in rural communities in the context of recovery housing.

Drug Overdose PreventionRecent Reports

This report is based on data from possession and trafficking citations, drug overdose-related deaths, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, submissions to the state police lab, and general drug overdose-related events on six major substances in Kentucky from January 1, 2017–September 31, 2021.

An update to the annual report on drug overdose deaths in Kentucky to include deaths that occurred in 2021.

An update to the annual report on drug overdose deaths in Kentucky to include deaths that occurred in 2021.

This K-SURE report provides a pictodictionary of the six major overdose-related substances (heroin, opioids, fentanyl, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine) in Kentucky, and a guide to resources for prevention, treatment, community action, and risk reduction across the Commonwealth.

The Kentucky Resident Drug Overdose-Related Morbidity and Mortality Dashboard provides death and emergency department visit data for the past four quarters in one centralized location. It includes an interactive map with county-level counts and rates of fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses. It also provides information about drug overdoses by demographic characteristics like age, sex, race, and…