Justice Sec. Tilley talks battle against the opioid crisis

The Kentucky Cabinet of Justice and Public Safety continues to fight the opioid crisis sweeping the state and the nation and Justice Secretary John Tilley wants people to be informed on what’s happening.

Speaking with WHOP News Friday, Secretary Tilley says Kentucky is a national leader for drug policy in the war against the crisis. He says his cabinet is working around the clock, including arresting mass traffickers and getting people the treatment they need.

He says although the opioid crisis is a public health issue, it ties in closely to the justice division when crimes occur because of addiction. He thinks addiction has been over-criminalized and says that many states are moving to de-criminalize simple possession, which will hopefully lower prison populations.

Secretary Tilley says while eastern Kentucky and surrounding states are suffering from opioids, western Kentucky is battling methamphetamine and his cabinet continues to battle against the flow of that and related drugs.

Several programs have been implemented to help those in need find avenues for treatment, including the Don’t Let Them Die campaign and the Angel Initiative through state police. In 2016, 64,000 people died from an overdose across the nation, which is more than were lost during the Vietnam War.

Secretary Tilly says these preventable deaths must stop, and that his cabinet will continue to work at state and local levels to find solutions to this crisis.                                                                                                **