From the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
As Kentucky continues to look at ways to help those struggling with substance use disorder, Rep. Adam Bowling has filed legislation to help communities become “recovery ready” by focusing on three key areas.
The Recovery Ready Communities legislation, House Bill 7, would establish a framework for communities to become “Recovery Ready,” by bringing much needed consistency to local prevention, treatment and recovery efforts across the state. The bill already has the support of Kentucky’s leading recovery advocates.
“I believe we will be hearing it in local government in the House come the first week of February. It’s gotten a lot of support from folks across the aisle, and I’ve had meetings with the governor’s office and a million other people involved in it as well, so there’s a lot of support for it. Everybody sees the need for it, so I do expect it to pass, and I’m looking forward to getting it going here in February,” Bowling said in an interview with The Bottom Line.
Bowling said he decided to file this legislation after going through the 2020 class of BRIGHT Kentucky, a program of Leadership Kentucky, where discussions with eastern Kentucky leaders continued to come back to ways the state can tackle this challenging issue.
If the bill passes and becomes law, a new advisory council would be formed within the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy that will include recovery leaders, government officials, law enforcement, private sector employers and other key stakeholders. As a first step, this group will work together to determine appropriate and meaningful “Recovery Ready” standards for the commonwealth’s communities.
“If communities get this in place, we will see less strain on law enforcement,” Bowling added. “We’ll see less strain on our court systems, we’ll see less strain in our county budgets by both policing through the sheriff’s department and then jailing. And so, it’s a win-win program, and we can’t keep doing what we’re doing and just sending the same people back to jail over and over and over again. It’s not working. It’s not getting any better, so we’ve got to embrace this statewide, community-wide, and we can make a difference if we do.”