Fire Department awarded grant to fight opioid epidemic

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton secured a $511,078 federal grant for the City of Lexington’s Fire Department to assist the Department in fighting the opioid epidemic.

The grant funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP). This award will enable Lexington to continue services for survivors of substance abuse overdoses, which includes casework management, treatment providers, housing assistance and other mental health resources. 

“During the pandemic, it is important now more than ever to maintain our investments in substance abuse prevention, response and recovery efforts,” said Congressman Barr.  “In the past, I have accompanied the Department on ride-along visits to Kentuckians recovering from overdoses and seen first-hand the impact these services have.  I was happy to support this grant request and I applaud the DOJ for stepping up to help local governments meet this challenge.  Together, we will defeat this epidemic.”

Mayor Gorton said, “Substance use disorders have been sapping the life out of our City, and having an impact on quality of life, workforce and city services. The isolation many people are experiencing because of COVID-19 has driven up overdose rates, erasing much of the progress we made in recent years.”

The Lexington Fire Department grant award is the latest in a slew of federal grants Congressman Barr helped deliver to combat the opioid epidemic in the Sixth District.  In October, Congressman Barr announced a $433,903 DOJ grant for the Shepherd’s House in Lexington. Shepherd’s House has over three decades of experience providing multiple recovery programs to rehabilitate dozens of recovering addicts per year. Additionally, Congressman Barr also supported the $87 million grant awarded to the University of Kentucky’s HEALing Communities research, designed to reduce opioid overdose death by 40%.