Kentucky is in the throes of the nationwide opioid epidemic and is second in the country for overdose.

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Readily available fentanyl testing strips save lives, but they are currently considered drug paraphernalia. Sending people who used drugs to jail and prison leads to higher rates of mortality. The leading cause of death for formerly incarcerated people immediately after release is drug overdose.

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Many laws related to drug offenses stem from the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately policed, terrorized, and incarcerated communities of color. These outdated laws also require outsized punishments for low level drug offenses when people really need access to community-based treatment.

Kentuckians living with substance use disorder need access to non-judgmental harm reduction tools and treatment – not punishment and incarceration.


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