Kenton County Judge Receives Heroes Against Heroin Honor
Judge Executive Kris Knochelmann was honored as part of Heroes Against Heroin for his work in fighting the opioid epidemic in hard-hit Kentucky.
The recovery center Transitions, Inc. will be honoring Kenton County Judge Executive Kris Knochelmann in Heroes Against Heroin 2017 for efforts to help people with substance use disorders, according to WCPO Cincinnati.
Knochelmann was nominated by the community to receive Heroes Against Heroin special recognition for his work in addressing the opioid crisis in Kenton County. He's focused on solutions from handing out education pamphlets about the Northern Kentucky Addiction Helpline door-to-door in July to advocating to add Kenton and two other other Kentucky counties into the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which resulted in federal funding and law enforcement tools to assist locally in the opioid fight.
We’re appreciative of all the partners who have joined this fight to defeat an enemy that is literally destroying thousands of families in our community. Whether it be education and prevention, intervention, treatment, or law enforcement, we won’t rest until we have every tool necessary to win this battle," he said in May about the HIDTA designation.
He is also working to create access to medical treatment for opioid abuse in Kenton County. This week, the Kenton County Fiscal Court authorized up to $1 million for Knochelmann to negotiate purchase of a vacant sports complex that Transitions Inc. will turn into a 180-bed heroin treatment facility, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"As the third-largest county in Kentucky, we should have a respectable treatment facility," Knochelmann said, noting that he hopes to have the land purchased before the end of the month because lives are at stake.
In 2015, Knochelmann also led a shift in county policy for heroin possession, accelerating the process of placing those with heroin addiction into drug treatment through the Heroin Expedited Addiction Recovery Treatment, or HEART program. Instead of waiting in the Kenton County Detention Center, a certified substance abuse counselor evaluates inmates and transfers them to treatment.
Knochelmann along with other Heroes Against Heroin will be honored at a gala with fireworks on Sept. 3rd.