Last year a coalition of organizations working on the frontlines of the overdose crisis in Louisville released the 2022 Roadmap for Louisville Metro Government to End Overdose and Reverse the Harms of the War on Drugs. Despite staggering overdose deaths, and a continued crisis of homelessness and unmet mental health needs, the city has adopted virtually none of the priorities laid out within the Roadmap.
International Overdose Awareness Day (August 31st), provides a critical opportunity for Mayor Greenberg and the Louisville Metro Council to commit resources and political will towards ending overdose, incarceration, homelessness, poverty, and unmet healthcare and mental health needs. The intersecting crises have been driven by drug war-era politics that invested heavily in criminalization and incarceration, while underinvesting in the long-term solutions of housing, services, and care. This drug war mindset is why our city has refused to enact lifesaving harm reduction policies that could have reduced deaths and increased care. While the action Metro government must take now is bold, the priorities are basic, have long been known, and are only at a crisis level now because of historic inaction.