Population Health Services

Addiction Response

The Health Department’s mission is, in part, to protect the health of Northern Kentuckians. Substance use, including the use of heroin, is a significant concern in the region.

Heroin and Addiction Response

The Health Department’s mission is, in part, to protect the health of Northern Kentuckians. Substance use, including the use of heroin, is a significant concern in the region.

Infectious diseases

Use of intravenous drugs significantly increases the risk of contracting hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Northern Kentucky has seen dramatic increases in hepatitis B and C case rates, with many cases being associated with IV drug use. Learn more.

Syringe access exchange program

Such programs are a tool to reduce the threat of infectious disease spread through infected equipment, as well as a way to connect IV drug users to treatment resources and other health services. Learn more see below.

Naloxone overdose reversal kits

When administered after an overdose, naloxone can counter-act the life-threatening effects of opioid drugs and keep individuals who have overdosed alive until emergency medical help arrives.  Learn more see below.

Information about local substance abuse treatment programs

Northern Kentucky Addiction Helpline:  Speak to licensed, professional counselors 24 hours a day. Call 859-415-9280.

Addiction Helpline: Resource guide for those facing addiction

Prescription drug disposal

Unhealthy use of prescription drug abuse often starts at home, with the theft of unused medications from medicine cabinets. Unwanted prescription drugs can be safely disposed.  Learn more see below.

Other groups

The Health Department is involved in a variety of regional efforts to address heroin and related issues, including

  • Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact Response Task Force
  • County drug prevention coalitions
  • Inject Hope

Naloxone Distribution

When administered after an overdose, naloxone can counteract the life-threatening effects of opioid drugs and keep individuals who have overdosed alive until emergency medical help arrives.

Interactive map: Where naloxone is available

Order A Free Naloxone Kit

NKY Health has partnered with the Kentucky HEALing Communities Study to reduce opioid overdose deaths in Northern Kentucky. If you are interested in carrying Narcan, please click on the button below.

Naloxone At County Health Centers

The Health Department offers free naloxone kits to the Northern Kentucky community through its county health centers and during the syringe access exchange programs (see below). Kits will be available at the following days, times and locations.

  • Tuesdays in Campbell County from 1 to 4 p.m. on Highrise Drive, which is off Churchill Drive at the intersection of North Grand Drive in Newport, Ky. Note: The syringe access exchange program is also offered during this time
  • Wednesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Grant County Health Center, 234 Barnes Road, Williamstown, Ky. 859.824.5074. Note: The syringe access exchange program is also offered during this time
  • Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. during the syringe access exchange program operating in the parking lot of St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Covington, 1500 James Simpson Jr. Way, Covington, Ky. Note: The syringe access exchange program is also offered during this time

The kits include

  • Two doses of nasal spray naloxone
  • A pamphlet with directions on how to use naloxone
  • Information about treatment resources including the Northern Kentucky Addiction Helpline (859-415-9280).

Before receiving a naloxone kit, individuals will receive a 10-to-15 minute training from a Health Department nurse.

Prescription Drug Disposal

Keep your medicines secure so that a child, a teenager, or even a stranger, does not get into them. Lock up your medicines. Use a cabinet or a drawer with a lock on it, or a product designed for secure medication storage. Be especially careful to lock up any controlled substances that have been prescribed for you, such as pain medications. You play a big role in keeping medicines out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. You may help prevent an accidental injury, and help stop possible unhealthy use of prescription drugs.

What you can do

Take an inventory of your medicines. Check for any that have expired or that you no longer use.

Dispose of medication properly. Take advantage of medication disposal programs. Two types are available in Northern Kentucky:

Disposal of needles and syringes

The medication dropboxes and drug disposal pouches cannot be used for needles and syringes; however, if you need to dispose of needles or other medical waste at your home, this fact sheet from the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance (DCA) has tips on how to protect yourself and those who pick up your trash.

More Information:

Syringe Access Exchange Program

  • Starting on Tuesday, April 14, Campbell County will hold a weekly syringe access exchange program located on Highrise Drive, which is off Churchill Drive at the intersection of North Grand Drive in Newport, Ky. If you have any questions about NKY Health services at this time, please contact the main office at 859-341-4264 or your local county health center. Thank you for your understanding as we all do our part to limit community transmission of this disease.

Grant-Syringe-Exchange

Grant-Syringe-Exchange

 

Syringe access exchange programs are a tool to reduce the threat of infectious disease spread through infected equipment, as well as a way to connect people who inject drugs to treatment resources and other health services.

SB 192, passed in March 2015, allows for syringe exchanges to operate in Kentucky. However, their use must be approved by the Board of Health and county/city government (if applicable) in which they operate.

Presentation: Reducing the Spread of Bloodborne Pathogens in NKY: Syringe Access Exchange Programs

Infographic: Syringe access exchange programs: Meeting the need in Northern Kentucky

Video: Syringe access exchange programs

Approvals

The following necessary approvals have been granted for a program to operate:

  • Boone County: No approvals
  • Campbell County: Campbell County Fiscal Court (May 2016); City of Newport (February 2018) Program launched in July 2018
  • Grant County: City of Williamstown (August 2015); Grant County Fiscal Court (February 2016) Program launched at Grant County Health Center in March 2016.
  • Kenton County: Kenton County Fiscal Court (March 2016); City of Covington (March 2016)  Program launched in July 2018

Campbell County Syringe Access Exchange Program

Services are available and located on Highrise Drive, which is off Churchill Drive at the intersection of North Grand Drive in Newport, Ky. from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays beginning April 14. All participants must be in line by 3:30 pm to be seen. The syringe access exchange program is open to residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties who inject drugs. Services offered include:

  • Clean needles and injection equipment on a one-for-one basis
  • Safe disposal of contaminated equipment
  • Naloxone overdose reversal kits (see above)
  • Referrals to addiction treatment 
  • HIV testing
  • Hepatitis C testing

Grant County Syringe Access Exchange Program

Services are available at the Grant County Health Center from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays. All participants must be in line by 3:30 pm to be seen. The syringe access exchange program is open to anyone who injects drugs. Services offered include:

  • Clean needles and injection equipment
  • Safe disposal of contaminated equipment
  • Naloxone overdose reversal kits (see above)
  • Referrals to addiction treatment
  • HIV testing
  • Hepatitis C testing

Infographic: Two years of syringe access exchange program in Grant County

Kenton County Syringe Access Exchange Program

Services are available at the St. Elizabeth Healthcare, 1500 James Simpson Jr. Way, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays. All participants must be in line by 3:30 pm to be seen. The syringe access exchange program is open to residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties who inject drugs. Services offered include:

  • Clean needles and injection equipment on a one-for-one basis
  • Safe disposal of contaminated equipment
  • Naloxone overdose reversal kits (see above)
  • Referrals to addiction treatment 
  • HIV testing
  • Hepatitis C testing

Supporters

Organizations that have signed on in support of a syringe access exchange program in Northern Kentucky:

Additional Resources

For more information, including a printable list of all Syringe Exchange Programs across Kentucky as well as clinic hours of operation, please visit https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/hab/Pages/kyseps.aspx.

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