Kentucky General Assembly adopts resolutions urging state leaders to address social determinants of substance use disorder recovery

To help more Kentuckians reach long-term recovery, the 2021 General Assembly adopted a resolution last week urging state leaders to address the social determinants of substance use disorder recovery.

The resolution says in order to create a more comprehensive, person-centered approach to substance use disorder treatment and long-term recovery, Kentucky must increase access to the following services:

  • Effective and accessible health care to treat physical, mental and behavioral health
  • Employment and educational opportunities
  • Safe and affordable housing
  • Transportation for treatment and to support recovery
  • Childcare to encourage workforce participation and stop the cycle of addiction

The following are statements by Senate President Robert Stivers and Representative Adam Bowling on the importance of addressing the social determinants of substance use disorder recovery:

“Substance use disorder is a complex and deadly disease that doesn’t discriminate based on race, age, income or zip code. That’s why it’s so important to bring treatment, prevention and recovery services to Kentuckians in all parts of the state,” said Rep. Adam Bowling. “Addiction has negatively impacted Kentucky families and communities for far too long, but I’m confident that we can work together to bridge the gaps in our recovery systems and put more Kentuckians on the path to lifelong recovery.”

“As we continue to address one public health crisis, we cannot overlook another that has continued to devastate many Kentucky families and communities,” said Senate President Robert Stivers. “While we have made great strides in reducing stigma around addiction and connecting people with treatment and resources, our work is still cut out for us in addressing all the social determinants of recovery. My fellow legislators and I remain committed to ensuring that Kentuckians struggling with substance use disorders have the comprehensive tools, resources and education they need to lead healthy, productive lives.”

The Kentucky Chamber, an organization that has been doing a lot of work in this space, also emphasized the critical need to prioritize solutions.

“When it comes to addiction recovery, we must prioritize long-term outcomes over short-term results. Education, job training and stable employment are critical parts of the equation,” said Beth Davisson, vice president of workforce development for the Kentucky Chamber. “By working together and combining our resources, we can enact meaningful change to support Kentuckians in recovery who deserve a second chance.”

Stay tuned on The Bottom Line for more legislative action on substance use disorder recovery and criminal justice reform.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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