Congressman Andy Barr (KY-6) today announced the formation of the Sixth Congressional District Drug Abuse Task Force in response to the growing drug epidemic in central and eastern Kentucky.  Barr announced the task force while hosting a roundtable discussion with White House National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli, regional leaders, and other stakeholders at the Hope Center in Lexington.

“Drug abuse in central and eastern Kentucky is a serious problem that has devastated families while taking a toll on our economy and society,” said Congressman Barr.  “I am grateful for Director Botticelli’s visit and I am hopeful the creation of this task force will continue the productive dialogue we had today.  By working together and by hearing from those on the front lines of this effort, I hope we can find solutions and reduce the debilitating impact drugs are having on our communities and families.”

The Sixth District Drug Abuse Task Force will meet regularly to update Congressman Barr, recommend possible federal action, as well as to provide advice and feedback on proposed legislation and other solutions.

Kentucky has the third highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States.  Fayette County is ranked second out of all 120 counties in the state for heroin detected in overdose deaths.  Fayette County has also seen the largest increase in overdose fatalities with 86 deaths in 2013.