Congressional Field Hearing Focuses on Opioid Recovery and Transitional Housing

Aug 17, 2018

A congressional field hearing in Lexington Thursday included discussion on issues related to opioid recovery and transitional housing.  Testimony on opioid use for pain management was also presented.

It came from substance abuse recovery, housing, and medical research representatives.  Among them, the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research Director Sharon Walsh.   

She said a slight reduction has come in the number of opioids prescribed nationally.  But, Walsh says a three day limit on pain medicine following a procedure may fall short of the overall intent.

“What they were trying to do is limit the number of pills, but if someone can get past that regulation by giving, written for three days, but give a lot more pills, then we’re not actually accomplishing the goal,” said Walsh.

Walsh believes too often the training for medical students on pain management is inadequate.  She also says caregivers are seeing more people who are starting out with an illicit street opioid, where the use is not tied to a previous medical procedure.

Meanwhile, Kentucky’s oldest and longest licensed substance abuse treatment facility for women is looking to expand.   Lexington’s Chrysalis House Director Lisa Minton also offered testified at the congressional field hearing. 

She spoke of plans for a 16-bed facility on the grounds of Eastern State Hospital.  

“The women will be able to walk directly over and from preliminary conversations with the University of Kentucky will be able to also pilot new ways of treatment, especially for the opioid-addicted person,” said Minton.

Minton says the services will include medication-assisted therapy, mental health needs, and hepatitis C infusions.  If all goes as planned, Minton says the lease with the state of Kentucky for the existing building calls for a start up in October.