HAZARD — Kentucky’s Attorney General, Andy Beshear, traveled to Hazard Tuesday for a special ceremony at the Hal Rogers Center. Beshear presented KVC Kentucky with $400,000 to continue treating children in the Commonwealth, who are suffering from substance abuse and addiction.
“I am pleased and honored to be able to announce that KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky and other deserving agencies throughout the Commonwealth will soon be receiving proceeds from a recent court settlement,” Beshear said. “KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky was chosen because of its proven track record of pulling our children out of addiction and putting them back on a path to success.”
In the recently passed state budget, lawmakers appropriated funds recovered from a case against Purdue Pharma to 15 different recovery facilities and drug treatment centers recommended by the Attorney General that provide a variety of services throughout the Commonwealth. Kentucky took Purdue Pharma to court, claiming that the company was not honest with the public about the highly addictive potency of Oxycontin. Purdue Pharma agreed to a settlement in the case, which will require the corporation to pay $24 million to Kentucky over the course of the next eight years.
KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky offers in-home, family-based treatment for alcohol and substance abuse as well as co-occurring disorders. KVC works with the client’s school, community and home setting to promote positive changes in the client’s environment and habits. The organization has regional offices in Lexington, Ashland, Hazard, Prestonsburg, Richmond, Florence, Morehead and Shelbyville.
Beshear said substance abuse is Kentucky’s most overwhelming, pervasive problem. He said public officials must support proven and effective programs like KVC Behavioral HealthCare Kentucky if the state wants to end substance abuse and assist Kentucky families.
Regina Klyachkin was present at the Hal Rogers Center to accept the Attorney General’s check for $400,000. Klyachkin is the Vice President of Operations for KVC Kentucky.
“KVC Kentucky is so thankful for the support of the Attorney General and the Legislature,” Klyachkin said, “This generous funding is crucial to the continuation of our mission.”
Two local public officials acknowledged the Attorney General’s call for support of prevention programs like KVC Kentucky by speaking in regards to Perry County’s substance abuse epidemic. Rep. Fitz Steele had this to say about the funding he helped secure for KVC Kentucky in this year’s General Assembly.
“The devastation of addiction to powerful drugs can be seen right here in our region. Funding for treatment programs, particularly those that help children fight addiction, is critical to removing this scourge on our people. I’m thankful for the work of the Attorney General, and that together we are helping to make drug addiction part of our past and not our future. In Andy Beshear, we’re very fortunate to have an Attorney General who truly cares about all the people of our Commonwealth.”
Mayor Jimmy Lindon of Hazard addressed the audience at Tuesday’s event.
“You’ve got your community, then you stretch out into the region, then the state and then the United States, and no matter how far you go, we’ve all been touched in some way by drugs,” Lindon said. “It’s scary. I tell people that drugs can either be a slow suicide or they can be a fast suicide. Us, as leaders, we’ve got to step in and help.”
A visit from the Attorney General is always big news for a small town. However, when the Attorney General’s visit serves the purpose of providing almost half a million dollars in funding to help fight an epidemic that has nearly crippled our young generations, and in far too many cases, robbed citizens of their lives all together, the support shown by the local elected officials, who spoke at the event, is vital in, not only assuring that funding streams such as this make their way into our community, but also that programs like KVC Kentucky understand that their work is appreciated.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.