What’s next for Recovery Ready Boyle County?

Published 2:59 pm Monday, June 12, 2023


Boyle County Agency

for Substance Abuse Policy

Email newsletter signup

On May 18, Gov. Andy Beshear named Boyle County a “Recovery Ready Community.” Our county was the first county to receive this certification in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. County Judge-Executive Trille Bottom accepted the award, which was based on an extensive application process, followed by a site visit by two reviewers meeting with community stakeholders.

The certification program is overseen by an Advisory Council for Recovery Ready Communities, and was established to provide a measure of a community’s programs which address substance use disorder treatment and recovery support, harm reduction, enforcement, and prevention and education. The program was planned to recognize the components necessary for a better functioning workforce today, and resulting in improved workforce participation in the future.

Boyle County has been blessed to have a large number of citizens committed to working together toward common goals related to substance misuse and addiction. So many local people have played a role in improving our recovery capacity. It would be impossible to estimate the numbers involved in this work over the past several years. They include everyone from active service providers to those in the faith community who have prayed for others who are more active. On the full day of our site visit, 14 people gave unselfishly of their time to tell our community story to the reviewers.

Recognition for hard work is always appreciated, but in this case, must not be taken as an indicator that all goals have been met. It shows that we have done some things right, but we need to keep working. Provisional statistics for 2022 indicate that overdose deaths went down both in Kentucky, and for Boyle County residents. That’s good news, but as long as we have any deaths due to drug overdoses, there is still more to be done. As long as we have people unable to find accessible and affordable treatment, there is more to be done. As long as teachers can’t find adult mentors for kids whose parents are in active addiction or incarcerated, there is more to be done. As long as we need more employers who will hire people in recovery from substance use disorders, there is more to be done. As long as we have children removed from their families because of substance use-related neglect, there is more to be done. As long as law enforcement spends high percentages of their time on drug-related calls, there is still work to do.

A huge thank you to all readers who have contributed to the positive acknowledgement of Boyle County’s work. If you learned how to administer Narcan and reverse an overdose, we thank you. If you helped a family grieve who has lost a family member to an overdose, we thank you. If you learned about the neuroscience of addiction, we thank you.

Making a community “Recovery Ready” is like piecing a quilt. Not a neatly symmetrical and perfectly blocked quilt, but what quilters call a crazy quilt. Pieces are of different sizes, shapes, and colors, but finally go together into a functional and beautiful finished product. Boyle County’s readiness for recovery still has some missing pieces, and maybe will for some time. Nevertheless, progress is being made, lives are changing, and there’s a lot of beauty in working together.