Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The toll of Illicit drugs continues. Last year, 1,565 Kentuckian's overdosed on opioids.  That's more than four deaths per day. Fentanyl was involved in 52 percent of overdose deaths. Drug addiction leads to lost lives, broken families and our communities are left with gaping holes in them. Now a story out of the Lexington Herald-Leader reminds us that the most vulnerable among us are also hurt: unborn children in the womb. A footnote here is that one of the state’s most left-leaning papers is acknowledging the humanity of the unborn. Kentucky has the fifth highest rate of pregnant mothers using opioids while pregnant. As a result, there are many newborns who are addicted to the powerful drug. And we're reminded by newborns—those just starting out with much promise and potential that the drug scourge has reached us all.