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Northern Kentucky Heroin Deaths Doubled

Updated: Friday, November 15 2013, 10:39 AM EST
COVINGTON, Ky. (Brad Underwood) -- In 2011, St. Elizabeth Hospitals dealt with 252 heroin overdose cases.

In 2012, 447. 

The last updated number from this year was in august, at 385.

Now, the workforce says it's time to push back and start saving lives.  The tee shirts say it all, Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin.

It's a problem so bad, heroin overdose deaths statewide have increased 550 percent between 2011 and 2012.

We can treat anybody as long as they are not dead. This is a treatable disease.

The northern Kentucky heroin impact and response workforce spent the last year coming up with a plan to do just that. Prevent, treat and aid in recovery.

We have the answers, it now just takes the work to implement the answers.

The bulk of the plan calls for more physicians trained in treating addiction as well as more treatment centers and places for addicts to go after treatment so they can safely recover.  But it's not cheap.

The four year outlook is 16 million dollars.

We are counting on the Affording Care Act and the parity that is part of the Affordable Care to pay for part of the services that are part of this plan.

That will cover some but not all. The panel says it's also asking for state lawmakers to re-prioritize the money dedicated to fighting substance abuse.

Northern Kentucky is the third largest community in Kentucky.  We certainly do not get the percentage of funds that other communities do.

Grants and corporate donations are also being sought to fund the plan. But, the reality is the money that's currently available would only help them reach maybe a quarter of their goal.

On the donation side, Interact for Health, a member of the workforce will be matching individual donations 2-1 and corporate donations 1-1 until the end of the year.

The plan also calls for the creation of programs within schools in efforts to prevent future heroin addicts.

Watch video hereNorthern Kentucky Heroin Deaths Doubled

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