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FRANKFORT (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday announced another step toward achieving a statewide policy goal of offering no-cost services close to home to help Kentuckians overcome drug addiction.

The state is working to establish counties as “Recovery Ready Communities” — aimed at providing high-quality recovery programs across Kentucky, Beshear's administration said in a news release. It's part of a comprehensive effort to combat addiction woes taking a heavy toll on the state.

“In 2021, we lost 2,250 Kentuckians to an overdose death, which is devastating and extremely heartbreaking,” Beshear said. “I hope all 120 counties in the commonwealth will join my administration in the fight to save lives by pledging to be ‘recovery ready’ and ensuring the necessary support is available to those who are struggling with addiction.”

Kentucky's Office of Drug Control Policy is partnering with Volunteers of America to launch a Recovery Ready Community Certification Program. Cities and counties can apply for certification upon offering transportation, support groups and employment services at no cost for people seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. A measure enacted last year by Kentucky lawmakers created an advisory council assigned to create a recovery ready certification.

As part of the initiative, Volunteers of America will work with participating counties and cities, with the goal of enhancing recovery and helping avoid overdoses.

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