Kentucky Addiction Treatment
Heroin has returned to the spotlight in Kentucky as the most abused drug in the state. The resurgence reflects a national trend, as the U.S. witnessed a 55 percent increase of fatal heroin-related overdoses from 2000 to 2010. Cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana addiction are also problematic issues in Kentucky’s communities.
The rise of heroin abuse began in Northern Kentucky as it arrived from Chicago. Chicago is a major distribution point for drugs trafficked from Mexico into the United States.
Once state legislators cracked down on prescription drug abuse, heroin quickly became the drug of choice for many suffering from an opiate addiction.
Although fatal overdose rates have hit an all-time high for Kentuckians, more people than ever are getting treatment. No matter what type of addiction you or your loved one are struggling with, Kentucky’s treatment centers are prepared to give you the help you need. Call us as soon as possible to speak with a compassionate treatment specialist.
Laws of Kentucky Drug Abuse
To battle rising addiction rates, Kentucky has strict penalties for drug-related crimes including possession, trafficking, selling and manufacturing.
Illicit Drug Possession Laws
Illicit drug possession laws in Kentucky are ranked by degrees, with varying penalties that depend on the offender’s previous criminal record. The degrees are defined as:
- First-degree possession, which includes possessing any amount of methamphetamine, cocaine or a narcotic classified as a Schedule I or II substance
- Second-degree possession, which applies to Schedule I or II drugs not included in first-degree possession (this includes mostly prescription drugs)
The more drug offenses a person has, the more severe the consequences.
|Degree of Possession||Type of Offense||Charge||Maximum Penalty|
|First Degree||First-time Offense||Class D Felony||Up to 5 years prison; fine up to $10,000|
|Subsequent Offense||Class C Felony||Up to 10 years in prison; fine up to $10,000|
|Second Degree||First-time Offense||Class A Misdemeanor||Up to 1 year in jail; fine up to $500|
|Subsequent Offense||Class D Felony||Up to 5 years in prison; fine up to $10,000|
Drug Laws for Marijuana Possession
Marijuana possession up to eight ounces is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum sentence of 45 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250.
The feelings you get from taking a drug can make you forget that anything bad could happen to you. But drug abuse and addiction come with serious consequences that can negatively impact your life and the lives of those around you. Aside from legal penalties, drugs can cost you an education, a career, your friendships and even your life.
Kentucky Addiction Treatment Laws
Legislators believe that addressing Kentucky’s escalating heroin addiction rates involves a multifaceted, community-driven approach. This is why Kentucky has adopted several measures to help alleviate the state’s drug issues.
While Kentucky is facing a heroin crisis, many of the state’s tactics exist to help Kentucky’s residents address all types of substance abuse.
Senate Bill 192
Senate Bill 192, also known as the “Heroin Bill,” was introduced to improve treatment options for people seeking help for heroin addiction. The bill also offers tactics to reduce the trafficking and abuse of heroin in Kentucky, including:
- Strengthening the criminalization of heroin trafficking. Anyone who imports heroin, with the intention of selling or distributing, will now face up to 20 years in prison.
- More money for treatment programs. Thanks to the Heroin Bill, annual funding was increased to $24 million to provide more ways Kentucky can help people recover and stay sober.
- Allowing clean needle exchanges at regional health centers. This helps to reduce the transmission of HIV and other communicable diseases.
- Increased availability of naloxone, as well as naloxone training programs for emergency medical responders. Naloxone is used to reverse a heroin or opioid-related overdose, which can help save many more lives.
The Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting System (KASPER)
Many states throughout the nation have prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in place to detect the early warning signs of drug abuse trends. Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services established the state’s own unique program, KASPER. The program not only catches on to drug trends but also tracks legal prescription drugs that enter the illegal drug market.
A KASPER report is highly sophisticated, and can show all scheduled prescriptions for an individual in any time period. The report can even tell who prescribed and dispensed the prescription. Because of KASPER’s detailed reporting, drug offenders are held more accountable for drug-related crimes. This has helped to greatly reduce the number of drug addictions in Kentucky from forming.
One of the most dangerous effects a drug can have is impairing a person’s judgment. This is why drug addiction can prevent someone from making rational decisions. Many people suffering from an addiction don’t realize they need help, so they may refuse to get treatment.
In order to qualify someone for treatment under Casey’s Law, the concerned person of the loved one must petition the court in Kentucky.
The steps involved in Casey’s Law include:
- A court reviews the petition’s allegations and examines the petitioner under oath.
- The court determines whether there is probable cause for ordering treatment for the respondent (the person suffering from the addiction)
- If probable cause is established, the court orders the respondent be evaluated and the hearing is set
- The respondent is evaluated by two qualified health professionals, at least one of whom is a physician
- If the court finds the respondent should undergo treatment, the court orders treatment
Treatment varies depending on the person’s circumstances, but can range from intensive care to detoxification. Studies show that involuntary treatment is just as effective as voluntary treatment when it comes to the chances of someone relapsing.
Find Treatment in Kentucky
Many people in Kentucky are turning their lives around every day by getting help for their addiction. In 2010, approximately 11,000 Kentuckians entered rehab and began their recovery journey. There are a variety of options available for rehab, and many ways of getting help paying for treatment.
With all of the options to choose from, it’s important to consider which treatment is best for you or your loved one. Many people seeking a specific type of care choose to travel to another state, or even another part of the country, for rehab. Traveling for rehab is beneficial for those looking to get away from the temptations that caused their addiction. It gives people the chance to begin recovery with a fresh start so they can rebuild a healthy, new life.
If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction, there are people ready to help you. Call us today to find the perfect rehab for you.