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Overdose Awareness Event Seeks To Help Break A Lethal Cycle

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Priscilla Jennings AJ Gabhart Abby Woebbeking attended the Overdose Awareness event held last week, which provided resources for those wanting to break the cycle of drug addiction and their loved ones.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Local organizations hosted an Overdose Awareness event Tuesday, Aug. 28, providing the public with resources to prevent an overdose.

“This was our first year having an Overdose Awareness event,” said Tobie Reeser-Sherrow, chair of the Mercer Agency for Substance Abuse Policy. Mercer ASAP and the Isaiah House Treatment Center hosted the event.

She said there were around 20 resources in attendance. There were representatives from addiction treatment facilities as well as resources for domestic violence, hepatitis C, mental health and health insurance. The Department for Public Health brought the mobile Narcan Van to distribute Narcan. Fentanyl test strips were also made available.

In addition, Judge-Executive Sarah Steele announced that Mercer County will use their share of Opioid Abatement fund to transport people to treatment. The county is in the process of trying to purchase a van.

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Cathy Akins, director of the Mercer County Health Department, and Alisha Gooch of Addiction Recovery Care attended the Overdose Awareness event held last week at Olde Town Park.

Data from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy shows there were 2,135 overdose deaths in the state in 2022, with 17 deaths reported here in Mercer County. Reeser-Sherrow said that’s down 5 percent from 2021, when 2,250 people died of a drug overdose. In 2021, Kentucky was one of the worst states in the nation for drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 55.6 deaths per 100,000 people reported. Kentucky trailed only Louisiana with 55.9 per 100,000, Tennessee with 56.6 per 100,000 and West Virginia with 90.9 per 100,000.

Beginning in Australia in 2001, International Overdose Awareness Day is celebrated Aug. 31 every year hoping to end overdose, remember without stigma those who have died and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind.

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Hannah Beth Turner, Stephanie Elder, Brooke Williams, Trevor Short and Sarah Grob were on hand for anyone who needed help at the Overdose Awareness event held last week at Olde Town Park.

The Mercer County Health Department offers free Narcan to anyone in the community.

“We can also come out and train any local businesses on how to use Narcan and provide it at no cost,” . Reeser-Sherrow said.

The health department received a grant to place two Narcan boxes in the community so anyone has access to Narcan at any time of day.

“They will hopefully be out before spring,” Reeser-Sherrow said.

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
Hannah Yulee and Samaria and Sariah Horn attended the Overdose Awareness event held last week at Olde Town Park. Resources were available for those suffering with drug addiction and their loved ones.

The health department also provides a resource guide for anyone in the community looking for treatment resources. Reeser-Sherrow said they can also be found at

“We are always looking for new ways to prevent substance use disorder and help with treatment locally,” Reeser-Sherrow said. She can be reached at

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