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"Addiction is everywhere:" substance abuse in Bourbon County - ABC 36 News - WTVQ

PARIS, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to the Bourbon County Health Department, two overdose deaths have already happened in the area since the start of October. Last month, the county recorded eleven overdoses.

“Addiction is everywhere and that’s why it’s so important for us to break down those stigmas for addiction and really be able to reach everyone in the community,” said Bourbon County Health Department Public Health Director Andrea Brown.

Kentucky has also seen a 53 percent increase in overdose deaths in recent years.

“Year after year, Kentucky has seen a 53 percent increase in overdose deaths. So, really, we’re in the worst place right now when it comes to where the trend has been for us locally,” said Chief Clinical Officer for BrightView Health Navdeep Kang.

BrightView Health Vice President of Clinical Services Rhonda Roper says a lack of access to treatment, as well as a stigma around getting help for addiction, can be a factor in those struggling not seeking help.

“Access to treatment can be challenging to find, having the ability to pay for treatment and the ability and resources to get there are challenging. But then most importantly, just being willing to let someone know what you’re dealing with, and just being able to ask for help is very hard because of that stigma against individuals with substance use,” said Roper.

Melissa Adams is from Nicholas County, and says she’s been an addict since she was eleven years old. She says her turning point came while serving a second time in jail.

“So my son–he was five at that time–came to see me that Sunday for Mother’s Day. And he wanted to see his mother through the glass. And he couldn’t see me because I was in the hole, because every time I use, it affects him. It hurts him,” said Adams.

She says it’s possible to overcome addiction.

“Once an addict, always an addict. I do not like that saying. Of course, we will always have this disease, we will die with it. But our thinking can change. We can be more positive, productive people,” said Adams.

Tuesday, BrightView Paris celebrated its one year anniversary serving the community in Bourbon County.