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Citing a local and national shortage of forensic pathologists amid the dramatic rise of fatal overdoses and the opioid epidemic, the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is partnering with UofL and UK to strengthen the state Medical Examiner's Office and improve the retainment of such doctors.
Beshear's office filed the lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries over an allegedly deceptive marketing scheme pushing their opioid drugs as safer and rarely addictive, arguing that this "fueled" the state's deadly opioid epidemic.
The Fischer administration unveiled its two-year action plan to address Louisville's worsening opioid epidemic on Friday, part of a 78-page report detailing the challenges the city faces and recommended strategies to combat the recent increase in drug overdoses.
The 40215 ZIP code stretching from Churchill Downs south to the Beechmont neighborhood was hit the hardest by the opioid crisis last year, with 27 residents dying from a drug overdose and 51 total overdose deaths in that area.
Nearly 400 people died of an accidental drug overdose in Louisville last year -- a 22.5 percent increase from 2016's record high -- with 64 percent of those fatalities involving the powerful opioid fentanyl.
In his address to local law enforcement officials in Louisville, Attorney General Jeff Sessions highlighted Department of Justice efforts to combat the recent increase in violent crimes and opioid overdoses.