KIPRC uses surveillance data to drive implementation of drug overdose prevention interventions Overdose Awareness Week Aug. 28 through Sept. 3
August 28 through September 3, 2022, has been proclaimed Overdose Awareness Week by President Joe Biden.
In his proclamation, President Biden said, “In 2021, more than 100,000 people died from an overdose, an approximate 15% increase from the previous year. Every loss is a painful reminder that, now more than ever, we must address our nation’s overdose epidemic.”
Kentucky saw a 14.6% increase in drug overdose deaths among residents from 2020 to 2021. A total of 2,251 Kentucky residents died from a drug overdose in 2021, according to the most recent Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC) annual report on drug overdoses.
“With our CDC-funded Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program, regular monitoring of trends in drug overdoses drives our development and implementation of prevention activities so that we can ensure that our efforts are targeted to people and places that bear the greatest overdose burden,” said Dana Quesinberry, JD, DrPH, co-principal investigator of the program.
KIPRC uses data from a variety of sources, including emergency departments, hospitals, emergency medical services, and coroners’ offices, to inform drug overdose prevention interventions such as FindHelpNowKY.org, the Kentucky Perinatal Quality Collaborative (KyPQC), the distribution of medication lock bags and boxes, and the soon-to-be-launched FindRecoveryHousingNowKY.org.
FindHelpNowKY.org is a locator of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities with current availability. It is expanding to other jurisdictions, under the name and URL FindHelpNow.org.
The KyPQC works with hospitals across Kentucky to enhance appropriate prescribing of opioids during pregnancy to women with SUD.
Several KIPRC partners distribute free medication lock bags and boxes to caregivers of children to help prevent accidental drug ingestion.
Similar to FindHelpNowKy.org, FindRecoveryHousingNowKY.org is an online locator tool that will link individuals who have initiated SUD treatment to recovery houses with available openings so that they can continue their journey to long-term recovery.
“The overdose epidemic has taken a heartbreaking toll on our nation, claiming the lives of far too many Americans and devastating families and communities across the country,” said President Biden in his proclamation. “During Overdose Awareness Week, we renew our commitment to taking bold action to prevent overdoses and related deaths.”
For more on KIPRC’s OD2A program and resources, visit https://kiprc.uky.edu/programs/overdose-data-action.
KIPRC is a unique partnership between the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health. KIPRC serves both as an academic injury prevention research center and as the DPH’s designee or “bona fide agent” for statewide injury prevention and control.