KENTUCKY —Death by opioids has risen drastically in Kentucky during the past year.

What You Need To Know

  • Kentucky's overdose death rate jumped 54%

  • From April 2020 until April 2021 818 people lost their lives to drugs

  • Fentanyl has been one of the leading causes of these deaths

According to the National Center for Health Statistics. Kentucky saw a 54% jump in deaths by overdose from April 2020 until April 2021.

Bureau of Investigation Narcotics unit officer Lt. Cory Doane who works for the Lexington Police Department says Fentanyl is a big issue in Lexington.

“A lot of fentanyl is coming in nationwide," said Doane "The trends of fentanyl is very potent and small traces or amounts can be fatal for people.”

According to the study deaths rose from 1,501 to 2,319 from April 2020 to April of 2021. Doane says hunting down the exact source of the drugs has been a challenge for all.


“We look for different narcotics on the street," said Doane "Different patters and what the substance color is the trends that are coming in and it's a daily challenge.”

Doane also says the pandemic has led to a lot of overdoses as well. Addiction Recovery Center senior VP of operations Pat Forgarty has also seen fentanyl cases rise but says addiction as a whole should be the focus.

"If you remove fentanyl you still would have a very serious problem in Kentucky," said Fogarty "So we should focus on addiction as opposed to any one drug over the years we have seen an ebb and flow of different drugs and some point we have to focus on the disease of addiction.”

Lt. Doane says forcing those who struggle with addiction to seek help is a another place to start. Officers continue to try and locate the problem but also aren't shy of forcing people to get help.

"We make the arrest when needed but we are always looking to push someone in the direction of someone who can help," said Doane "It's just a daily effort we have to commit to."