VOCAL-KY Responds to Gov. Beshear Prematurely Claiming Decrease in 2022 Overdose Data

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, mariah@vocal-ky.org


Governor Beshear Touts Lower Numbers of Overdoses for 2022 Before Kentucky Drug Overdose Report is Finalized

Advocates Will Gather on Tuesday for Fentanyl, Family, and Community Forum in Louisville’s West End to Discuss Overdose Prevention

LOUISVILLE — In response to data released Governor Beshear’s announcement on last Friday that “Kentucky’s drug overdose deaths declined in 2022 by 5% compared with 2021,” VOCAL-KY released the following statement, attributable to Jennifer Tywman, an Organizer with VOCAL-KY:

“It’s too soon to say if Kentucky’s overdose deaths have actually declined, especially before an official report is released by the Office of Drug Control Policy. Overdose data is always politicized, but the numbers Kentucky is touting don’t even match what’s been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As we’ve seen with overdose data, preliminary reporting almost always increases in final reporting. Making a conclusion and claiming victory like this is dangerous, and sets a precedent that data can be manipulated in the name of politics, rather than public health.

Our state’s must continue to focus on funding and rapidly scaling-up the Department of Health’s harm reduction strategies. We thank state lawmakers for their leadership in passing state legislation that protects people who use drugs, like decriminalization of fentanyl testing strips.” 


As a part of VOCAL-KY’s Roadmap for Louisville Metro Government, advocates continue to call for funding for proven, life-saving harm reduction tools for all Louisvillians at risk of overdose, like low barrier Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), naloxone, and harm reduction services for the entire state of Kentucky.

On Tuesday, April 25, VOCAL-KY members will join the Fentanyl, Family, and Community: A Solutions-Based Conversation in Louisville’s West End. The event is open to the public and will be a community conversation about harm reduction, with free Narcan training and drug testing strips available to attendees.