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Kentucky’s Public Health Is Public Safety Coalition

August 30, 2023

Let’s make Kentucky communities safer together by prioritizing public health as public safety. When everyone has access to proper resources and education on substance use disorder, mental health, and harm reduction, our communities are safer.

The Public Health is Public Safety Coalition is a diverse and passionate group of Kentuckians united by the common goal of transforming the state’s drug policies. Recognizing the urgent need for comprehensive change, the coalition brings together community activists, harm reduction specialists, law enforcement, and directly impacted individuals. Through a lens of harm reduction and a focus on public health and safety, the coalition aims to reform Kentucky’s drug policies to prioritize treatment, prevention, and community well-being. 

The coalition’s mission is to advocate for compassionate, equitable, and evidence-based drug policies that prioritize public health and safety. By promoting harm reduction strategies, expanding access to treatment, and addressing the underlying social determinants of substance abuse, the coalition seeks to reduce the negative impact of drug use on individuals and communities throughout the state.

Key Focus Areas: 

  1. Alternatives to Incarceration: By addressing addiction as a public health issue rather than a criminal one, the coalition aims to reduce incarceration rates and improve outcomes for those affected by substance use. 
  2. Expanding Access to Treatment: By working to eliminate barriers to treatment, such as insurance limitations and stigma, the coalition seeks to ensure that all individuals in need have access to the care and support necessary for recovery. 
  3. Harm Reduction Initiatives: The coalition supports and advocates for harm reduction strategies, including syringe exchange programs and naloxone distribution. These initiatives are proven to save lives, reduce the spread of infectious diseases, and create opportunities for individuals to engage in treatment and recovery. 
  4. Community Education and Awareness: The coalition recognizes the importance of education and public awareness in combating drug abuse. It works to provide accurate information about substance use, harm reduction, and available resources to empower individuals, families, and communities to make informed decisions and support each other. 
  5. Equity: The coalition is committed to addressing the racial and socioeconomic disparities often associated with substance abuse and access to treatment. It advocates for policies that promote equity and social justice, ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment and support regardless of their background. 

The Public Health is Public Safety Coalition is dedicated to creating a more compassionate, effective, and equitable approach to substance use in Kentucky. By listening to and working closely with directly impacted Kentuckians, law enforcement, harm reduction specialists, and community partners, the coalition aims to transform policies to better serve the needs of those individuals and communities while promoting public health and safety. Through collaboration and advocacy, the coalition envisions a future where those affected by substance use are met with understanding, support, and opportunities for healing and growth.

Coalition Members

  • Georgetown Police Department
  • Pinnacle Treatment Services
  • People Advocating Recovery (PAR)
  • Young People in Recovery (YPR)
  • ACLU Smart Justice Advocates (SJA)
  • Ky Center for Economic Policy (KyPolicy)
  • Optimal Living Services
  • Voices of Hope
  • Ky Chamber of Commerce

Interested in joining the coalition? Get in contact with us!

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