Graves Co. Joins Beshear's Fight Against Opioids
By West Kentucky Star Staff
MAYFIELD, KY - Attorney General Andy Beshear was in Mayfield Tuesday to announce that Graves County is helping fight against the state’s opioid epidemic by joining the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program. 

Representatives joining Beshear from six Graves County-based organizations include Graves County Schools, Duncan Prescription Center, Graves County ASAP, Office of the Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Graves County Sheriff’s Office and Graves County High School Students Taking On a Promise (STOP) program.

The partner organizations will work with Beshear’s office to distribute 500 Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program pouches, which will allow residents to dispose of up to 22,500 unused opioids. 

“Thanks to our new community partners, Graves County is joining the fight to help reduce the nearly 80 percent of heroin users who begin their addiction with prescription drugs,” said Beshear. “Escaping the plight of addiction starts with cutting off the supply of dangerous opioids that are sitting in home medicine cabinets.”

In August 2017, Beshear launched the Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program, the state’s first initiative allowing Kentuckians to safely dispose of opioid medications at home. 

David Hargrove, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Graves County, said opioid addiction and its attendant problems are now at their doorstep in Western Kentucky. 

“I am pleased to join with Sheriff Redmon and our partners, the Graves County School District, Graves County ASAP and Duncan Prescription Center, to help provide these opioid disposal packs,” said Hargrove. “Proper disposal of opioids helps prevent abuse of these drugs, theft of unused drugs and even unintended overdoses by those who are addicted. This program provides a tool that puts us on the frontline of fighting back against prescription drug abuse.”

Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said he has recently seen the opioid abuse problem starting to grow in Graves County.

“We are well aware of the nearly epidemic problem in the eastern part of our state and we are determined to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse before it grows out of control in our county,” said Redmon. “This program is a big step in doing that. If we can cut off sources for people to obtain these highly addictive substances, then we are well on our way to controlling a problem that has already adversely affected many, many families.”

The Kentucky Opioid Disposal Program pilot program started in four Kentucky counties, Floyd, Henderson, McCracken and Perry, as well as Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection that is working with the faith-based community to distribute the pouches at senior events.

In total, the program has the potential to dispose of more than 2.2 million unused opioids by simply placing unused medication into the pouch, filling it with warm water, waiting 30 seconds then sealing, shaking and disposing of it in normal trash.

Since announcing the program, Beshear said he hopes the initial pilot program leads to future funding from new partner groups.

In March, Beshear joined CVS Health to launch safe, in-store medication disposal units in nine 24-hour CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the state, including Paducah.

Published 03:11 PM, Tuesday May. 15, 2018
Updated 11:50 AM, Wednesday May. 16, 2018

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