Fahe strongly believes a multi-sector collaborative approach is needed to address the opioid epidemic in Appalachia. Fahe’s Strategic Programs department leads these efforts, and we have achieved great success in bringing together recovery providers, employers, government officials, housing providers, and everyday community members to work together for solutions that change the landscape of Appalachia. We are increasing the availability and reach of recovery centers, increasing access to essential services for people facing addiction, creating new pathways to sustainable employment, and supporting people as they take control of their lives.
What we Face
The drug crisis in Appalachia has reached an all-time high. Appalachian men ages 25 to 44 experience a 72 percent higher overdose mortality rate versus males in other parts of the country. For Appalachian women ages 25 to 34, the rate is 92 percent higher. West Virginia and Kentucky, two states in Fahe’s service area, were rated 1st and 3rd respectively in the nation for overdose deaths.
Opioid abuse destroys lives and robs Appalachia of its wealth. We face a dwindling workforce due to working-age people becoming addicted, dying, or being blacklisted from employment due to the stigma of a criminal conviction.
High-poverty areas are permeated by a sense of hopelessness among the population. Especially in communities suffering from the loss of coal jobs and dwindling economic opportunities, people of all ages fall victim to the escape offered by opioids, furthering the cycle of poverty and hopelessness. Negligent doctors over-prescribing drugs has contributed to the sharp rise in the availability of opioids.
To succeed in uplifting Appalachia and fostering a renewed sense of hope for our neighbors, we have to build multi-sector strategies that will address one of the biggest hazards facing our population, change the system that allows drugs to flood our communities, and eliminate the poverty that fuels the addiction cycle.
What Fahe is Doing
Fahe is taking a multi-pronged approach in our recovery efforts. We partner with various groups and experts, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission, Addiction Recovery Care, Recovery Kentucky, Fahe Member groups, and federal officials such as Congressman Andy Barr and Congressman Hal Rogers.
Fahe has been a crucial partner in the construction and management of several Recovery Centers across Kentucky and provided assistance to our Membership organizations in other states including West Virginia. Since the inception of Recovery Kentucky, Fahe has helped secure funding of four new recovery centers, resulting in 500 beds and generating $43 million in savings for the state.
Fahe partnered with the State of Kentucky and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to create the Kentucky Access to Recovery Program (KATR). KATR supplements essential services for people in recovery when other programs cannot provide assistance.
Fahe also leads the Transformative Employment Program in conjunction with DV8 and Addiction Recovery Care. The purpose of transformative employment is to remove the stigma employers have around recovery and to connect recovering individuals with meaningful employment opportunities.
Learn More About Our Programs:
Our Partners in Success
- Addiction Recovery Care
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- DV8 Kitchen
- The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
- Fletcher Group
- State of Kentucky
- Recovery Kentucky
Contact Us to Learn More about Our Recovery Efforts
Collaboration is how we will overcome this crisis. Contact Matt Coburn, Fahe’s SVP of Strategic Programs, if you’re interested in potential partnerships or more information about our recovery efforts. For media inquiries, please contact Fahe Communication Manager Aaron Phelps.