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The Problem

High levels of Controlled Prescription Drug (CPD) abuse are contributing to increased heroin use.

Increased demand for, and use of, heroin is being driven by both increasing availability of heroin in the U.S. market and by some controlled prescription drug (CPD) abusers using heroin.  After the 2010 reformulation of the commonly abused prescription opioid OxyContin®, which made it difficult to inhale or inject, some people who abused OxyContin® migrated to heroin for access to a potent injectable drug. This phenomenon is contributing to the increase in heroin use in the United States.[1]

Heroin and the abuse of diverted opioid-based prescription drugs represent a significant health threat to the Louisville, KY area and its neighboring communities. In the area, there has been an increase in the availability and a decrease in the price of heroin. The abuse of heroin and opioid-based prescription drugs are strongly linked to property crime and drug-related overdose deaths in Kentucky and the Louisville area.[2] 


[1](U) U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA Intelligence Report, National Heroin Threat Assessment Summary; April 2015.

[2] DEA Detroit Division Intelligence, Louisville District Office; Appalachia HIDTA 2016 Threat Assessment

The Problem

Heroin use in Louisville: A dangerous trend on the rise.

Drug-Related Overdoses

Louisville experienced a 65% increase in overdoses in just six months.  

Significant Drug Threat

Over the past decade, the number of Kentuckians who die from drug overdoses has steadily climbed to more than 1,000 each year, exacting a devastating toll on families, communities, social services and economic stability and growth.

Abuse of Opioid Pharmaceutical Drugs

The diversion and abuse of prescription drugs remains one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky.