KENTUCKY — Republican State Senator Ralph Alvarado is the chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee. Since his election to the state legislature, Alvarado has crafted policy and legislation that reduces opioid addiction rates in Kentucky. He also is a licensed physician out of Winchester, in Clark County.

Kentucky has taken many steps to address the opioid epidemic from a public policy perspective. This includes during the year 2020, when the Substance Use Recovery Task Force, was created and it includes lawmakers and stakeholders who studied and discussed policy initiatives to help tackle the drug crisis.

"Many of us probably have addictions to something, whether it be caffeine or food, nicotine, alcohol and lots of different products out there and opiates, unfortunately, have really taken hold in the last 20 years or so throughout our country. But in Kentucky and Kentucky in particular, it continues to be a front and center problem for us. It's a problem that we're going to continue to struggle with," Alvarado said.

"I think most people that are in the cycle of addiction, want to get out and are looking for help in that regard. And sometimes don't know it either for fear of stigma, shame, other things that they have personally, it's just that it's okay to help them seek help and find help through various means in our society," he continued.

You can watch the full In Focus segment in the player above.