Baptist Health Paducah to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day

August 30, 2022

2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021.

(Paducah, Kentucky) August 29, 2022 — Addiction continues to be one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing the state of Kentucky. According to the 2021 Drug Overdose Report, 2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021. Baptist Health Paducah is committed to building a healthy community where our neighbors can find the best alternatives to opioid treatment for pain to achieve optimal health.

To raise awareness and reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, August 31 is recognized internationally as Overdose Awareness Day. To assist in raising awareness locally, Baptist Health Paducah is proud to co-sponsor the 2022 International Overdose Awareness Day event hosted by Turning Point Recovery Community Center, part of Four River’s Behavioral Health’s comprehensive substance abuse services program, providing accessible services to those in recovery.

The event will be held Aug. 31 at Bob Noble Park from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with guest speakers, a balloon release at sunset, free Narcan and training, as well as community resources and giveaways. Baptist Health Pharmacy fellows and physical therapy and occupational therapy students will be on site providing information and education on opioid stewardship and alternative treatments for pain control.

“Managing pain can be daunting,” said Mike Muscarella, executive director of ambulatory services for Baptist Health Paducah. “It takes a team led by the individual’s physician collaborating with their pharmacist while integrating occupational therapy and physical therapy to address pain. People experiencing pain need to know the benefits and risks of medication, while also adjusting their physical and work activities to prevent exacerbation of the pain while still being able to live actively and work. Combining these resources with mental health support will maximize the person’s recovery.”

The number of overdose deaths increased by 14.5% in the year 2020-2021. The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) believes that the most significant contributors have been the rise in fentanyl and indirect effects from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact Turning Point at 270.444.3621 or call the Kentucky Help Call Center at 833.859.4357.