The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) submits this proposal to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in response to Funding Opportunity Announcement No. TI-19-004, First Responders – Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act Grants (FR-CARA). This grant proposal is entitled “Naloxone Dispensing, Information Dissemination, and Training for First Responders in Appalachia.” Kentucky is applying for funds to support activities throughout the state, but will focus some activities in counties identified as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) by the U. S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, the majority of which are located in Appalachia.
High drug use and opioid overdose rates in Kentucky have had an impact on first responders in the state. Emergency Medical Services data shows that first responders in Kentucky’s HIDTA counties need more doses of naloxone than is currently provided to them, with the limiting factor being the availability of local tax dollars. This is particularly true of HIDTA jurisdictions in Appalachia. Also, a recent statewide survey of first responders in Kentucky revealed that a majority was unaware of how to use PPE to protect themselves from opioid exposure, indicating a clear need for training on this subject. The activities described in this grant proposal will build on the recent accomplishments of KPDH and its partners in response to the opioid crisis.
The activities proposed herein will accomplish the following goals:
1. Increase the number of first responders statewide who are aware of the opportunity to get naloxone training and ensure more of the product is made available to first responders in HIDTA jurisdictions
2. Increase the number of first responders statewide who are aware of how to protect themselves from opioid exposure and have more information about tools and resources available for connecting overdose victims to treatment
3. Establish a mechanism for public health to track the use of naloxone by first responders statewide
4. Create an Opioid Crisis Subcommittee within the existing Health and Medical Preparedness Committee and recruit additional stakeholders into the subcommittee
Grant objectives will be achieved through KDPH’s well-established partnerships with first responder agencies in the state, primarily the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services and the Kentucky Fire Commission, both agencies are under the Kentucky Community Technical College System. Also assisting KDPH with achieving these goals will be the Kentucky Pharmacists Association and the Kentucky Regional Poison Control Center, with oversight provided by the Health and Medical Preparedness Advisory Committee.