Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The number of drug overdose deaths in Kentucky reached a new record high in 2015. According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, a total of 1,248 people died of drug overdoses. And the number is likely to climb due to incomplete reporting. One reason for the spike is due to a new drug called Fentanyl —which is the same one that claimed the life of rock star Prince. Fentanyl is a legal drug, but much more powerful than other painkillers. The state recently increased spending on anti-drug efforts by $30 million. While we need to do all we can to stem the scourge of drug addiction, we should ask if more money will be enough? Addiction is rooted in deep pain and drugs provide a false hope to escape. Until this is addressed, the money will likely be of little help.