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Press Release: Highlighting Fentanyl Awareness Day is crucial to youth overdose prevention

Highlighting Fentanyl Awareness Day is crucial to youth overdose prevention

Alarming numbers continue to worsen as more Americans than ever grapple with addiction across Kentucky and the nation. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests overdose deaths jumped dramatically among teens age 14-18 in 2021 and are projected to more than double in two years. According to reports, synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are to blame for at least two-thirds of all overdose deaths. Nationally, deaths resulting from an overdose crossed the 100,000-threshold last year.

“The advent of fentanyl’s integration into street-level use has dramatically changed the landscape of addiction, making this the most dangerous time in history to use drugs,” said Pat Fogarty, Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) Senior Vice President of Operations. “Nearly all illicit drugs are potentially contaminated with fentanyl, making any kind of drug use potentially deadly.”

May 10th kicks off the first-ever Fentanyl Awareness Day in response to these staggering figures.

“On the first National Fentanyl Awareness Day, we must continue to educate Kentuckians on the influx of illicit fentanyl in counterfeit pills, heroin, and cocaine that has claimed tens of thousands of lives nationwide. Enforcement to remove fentanyl and its analogs from the street, coupled with ensuring access to Naloxone and evidence-based treatment, is key to saving lives during this unprecedented time,” said Brittney Garrett of the Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative.

Fentanyl is involved in more American youth drug deaths than heroin, meth, cocaine, and prescription drugs combined. National investigators say it is a cheap but potent drug, with its profitability prompting dealers to make fake pills, including Adderall. An estimated 250 to 500 million pills made with fentanyl are in circulation in the U.S. at any time.

“Fentanyl overdose deaths are not only the result of individuals using a contaminated supply, but many have also adopted fentanyl as their drug of choice,” added Fogarty. “For those who are struggling, treatment is available at Addiction Recovery Care, and recovery is possible.” 

 For additional information, please visit the CDC’s website

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About Addiction Recovery Care

Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) operates a network of over 30 addiction treatment programs in 21 Eastern and Central Kentucky counties. The organization, headquartered in Louisa, Kentucky, offers a full continuum of care including withdrawal management, long-term residential treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medically assisted treatment (MAT), vocational rehabilitation, and job training. The treatment centers are holistic with CARF-accredited clinical programs, medical services directed by an addiction psychiatrist, a spiritual emphasis that includes the 12 steps and chaplaincy care, and a broadening scope of vocational training opportunities for clients.

ARC has a focus on providing Treatment on Demand to ensure individuals receive treatment immediately without delay. This process includes quick enrollment into programs and transportation provided by ARC to one of our facilities. Individuals will have a clinical and medical assessment within 24 hours of arrival.

ARC accepts all Kentucky Medicaid plans (United Healthcare Community Plan of Kentucky, WellCare, Humana CareSource, Aetna Better Health for Kentucky, Passport Health Plan, and Anthem) and most private insurances.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call ARC’s 24/7 addiction help hotline at (606) 638-0938. To learn more about Addiction Recovery Care, visit Hope and help are a call or click away.