Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky is ranked Fifth for Highest Drug Overdose Mortality Rate in the United States in 2017.

Kentucky Overdose Deaths (KY Office of Drug Control Policy)

Overdose deaths as of June 2019: Totaled 1,247 Statewide with Jefferson County having the most overdose deaths of any county with 337 (the largest decrease of 26% from the previous year).

Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues overdose deaths increased 52% from 2017 to 782 people in 2018.

*The top 5 counties for Fentanyl related deaths (2019 Combined Annual Report):

1. Jefferson County 229
2. Fayette County 117
3. Kenton County 71
4. Boone County 39
5. Campbell County 32

 

Autopsied overdosed deaths attributed to heroin decreased: 188, or 15.1%. in 2018, compared to 270, 18.3% in 2017 (a 43.6% decrease).

*The top 5 counties for Heroin detected overdoses (KY Medical Examiner):

1. Jefferson County 84
2. Fayette County 36
3. Kenton County 14
4. Boyd County 7
5. Campbell County 6


Important note:
Morphine represents the true drug and metabolite of Heroin. When Heroin enters the brain, Heroin is converted back into morphine (National Institute of Drug Abuse: NIDA).

According to the KY. Medical Examiner’s Office, in 2018, here are the most detected substances present during autopsy:

1.    Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues 786 61% —OPIATE
2.    Morphine 432 33% —OPIATE
3.    Methamphetamine 428 33% —Amphetamine
4.    Gabapentin 255 20% —Gabapentinoid
5.    Aprazolam 214 16% —Benzodiazepine
6.    Monoacetylmorphine (heroin) 211 16% —OPIATE
7.    Oxycodone 110 8% —OPIATE

Kentucky Injury & Prevention Research Center Report

Drug Overdose Emergency Department (ED) Visits

  • Drug overdose ED visits increased 19.4% to 13,190 in 2016.
  • In 2016, there were 10,314 ED visits for unintentional (accidental) drug overdoses and 2,301 ED visits for intentional (self-harm) drug overdoses.
  • Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs showed an increase of 82.6% in positive tested lab submissions from January 2017 through December 2019.
  • The Appalachian region had the highest rates of drug overdose ED visits involving prescription drugs where the highest rates of drug overdose ED visits involving heroin were observed in Jefferson County, Fayette County, and the northern Kentucky counties.
  • The ED admissions count give a picture of how the drug overdose epidemic burdens the health care facilities and the insurers and should allow for better capacity planning.
  • The total charges associated with the ED visits for Kentucky resident drug overdoses in 2016 were $37.2 million dollars, a 19% increase from the $31.2 million dollar total in 2015. The $37.2 million total included $19.8 million billed to Medicaid, $7.2 million billed to Medicare, $6.47 million billed to commercial insurance, and $2.99 million were self‐pay or charity.
  • Elevated Medicaid charges illustrate the need for naloxone (an opiate antidote) reimbursement by Medicaid so that Medicaid recipients are not charged for its purchase. Intranasal administration of naloxone during an opiate overdose has been credited with saving countless lives.

2018 CRIME IN KENTUCKY

Jefferson County Arrests for Drugs 2018:

Fentanyl Heroin/Opiates Cocaine Methamphetamines
4,598 2,458 10 5,613


Ages of those arrested: 

Age Arrests
17 & Under 1,638
18-20 8,301
21-29 31,444
30-39 37,974
40-49 20,932
50 & Above 10,959
UNK 310
20-30’s 69,418
40 & Above 31,891


TOTAL KENTUCKY DRUG ARRESTS 2018: 111,558

  • 62% of arrests are between the ages of 20-30 years old.