Bill to ensure communities focus on prevention, treatment, and recovery moves to the Kentucky state Senate

The full House passed a bill Tuesday that would positively impact Kentucky communities by ensuring individuals get the help they need when struggling with substance use disorder.

House Bill 7, sponsored by Rep. Adam Bowling, establishes a framework for communities to become “Recovery Ready,” bringing much needed consistency to local substance use prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.

The bill seeks to ensure individuals have access to the services they need by establishing an advisory council housed under the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy with 19 members from different areas including business, recovery, education, local government, health care and others that will determine appropriate and meaningful “Recovery Ready” standards for the Commonwealth’s communities. A floor amendment adds two additional members with appointees from the Speaker of the House and Senate President.

Bowling said the state failing to address the issue and help those with substance use disorder is decimating the state’s workforce, leading to economic issues, hurting families, and causing trouble in the business community. House Bill 7 passed through the House 95-1 and now moves to the Senate for consideration in committee.

Kentucky Comeback, a coalition of grassroots advocates working to transform the state’s approach to addiction and criminal justice reform, released the following statement today following passage of the bill:

“We commend our legislators in the House for passing House Bill 7 and thank Rep. Bowling for his leadership in securing broad, bipartisan support for the legislation. Kentuckians in all 120 counties should be able to access the comprehensive treatment and recovery services they need to lead healthy, productive lives, and this is an important step in the right direction. With substance use on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge the Senate to act swiftly in bringing this bill to passage,” Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts said on behalf of the Kentucky Comeback coalition.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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