STATE OF ADDICTION: Hit hard by opioid crisis, South Louisville forms task force
Thursday, June 21st, 2018 @ 11:20PM
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On Thursday night, in the auditorium of a church in South Louisville, people shared their stories of addiction- triumphs and the losses. Brenda Cooley’s story is about loss. She found her son, Adam, dead in his bedroom on March 19, 2017. It was the morning he was set to enter rehab.
“I came out because I just want to be involved in anything this community is doing about this crisis. I have seen too many young people him, his friends, die,” Cooley, who lives in PRP, said.
The first meeting of the South Louisville Task Force on Opioids brought together professionals and community members in South Louisville, which is one of the areas hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. The hope is to create solutions through an honest dialogue.
The task force is the creation of state Reps McKenzie Cantrell and Joni Jenkins.
Jenkins says it’s personal. Her nephew, Wes, died of an overdose five years ago.
“This has been a passion of mine since we found out my nephew had a problem, so I’ve been working on this problem six-plus years,” Jenkins said.
She believes that community partnerships can make a difference.
“We’ve done some really good things in the General Assembly but we are still having folks die so this is an attempt to say: ‘What can we do as a community? Do we need to change state law? Do we need to do something locally? But more importantly- what role can all of us play that are citizens here?'” Jenkins said.
Brenda Cooley, who said her son struggled to get help with addiction, believes the task force is a good start.
“I want them to know there were people that were lost before this started and let’s not lose anybody else,” she said.
The task force is set to meet again next month.