LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- A $6.6 million federal grant has been awarded to aid in combatting the opioid crisis in rural areas of Kentucky and seven other states.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday that the Fletcher Group will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program, which supports evidence-based programs for the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in rural communities.
The Fletcher Group, headed by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, has partnered with the University of Kentucky to establish an opioid response program and will maintain its headquarters in rural Kentucky. Its work will target 101 rural counties in eight states, including 47 counties in Kentucky.
“The funds will be used by the Fletcher Group to establish a center of excellence for substance abuse disorder and will provide treatment and housing options for low-income and high-risk individuals in 47 Kentucky counties,” McConnell said. “This important work will help combat the opioid crisis that has afflicted many communities throughout Kentucky.”
Fletcher saluted McConnell’s efforts to secure the funding.
“This new funding opportunity will enable the Fletcher Group to establish a Rural Center of Excellence on Substance Use Disorder to continue to spread the successful Recovery Kentucky model to other parts of the Commonwealth and beyond. The Center will provide technical assistance to rural communities seeking to establish evidence-based treatment and recovery housing options for at-risk populations.”
As Senate Majority Leader, McConnell has prioritized federal resources to fight the opioid epidemic by increasing federal funding for the response. Kentucky has received over $200 million as a result of his work to prioritize the federal response to the addiction epidemic.
Most recently, he led to enactment a landmark opioid bill signed by President Donald Trump that includes two of McConnell’s bills: the CAREER Act, which helps recovering addicts get back to work, and the Protecting Moms and Infants Act, which helps opioid addicted mothers and babies.