Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Keith Knapp

Committee Member

Dr. Angela Carman

Committee Member

Dr. Julia F. Costich


Kentucky is currently ranked fifth in the United States for opioid-involved overdose deaths. This study assesses how the results of a community health needs assessment have developed collaborative community effort to create and expand services and programs to address opioid and substance use disorder in Laurel County, Kentucky. This particular community continues to rank opioid and substance abuse as a major health concern causing efforts to be put in place to create an opioid response program. A consortium was formed that developed the community health needs assessment survey. The results from the survey were then incorporated in to a strategic plan and put in to action.

This case study reviews the outcomes of a community health needs assessment survey and the response of community organizations to collaborate and address the needs that are identified. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the survey results and report to the public. The 2018 community health needs assessment survey found that 73.5% of residents ranked substance abuse as a top health concern, followed by chronic disease (36.5%) and mental health (35.2%).21 Programs that were developed in Laurel County as a response include: a syringe exchange program (SEP), an overdose quick response team, a contract with Project Lazarus, and Laurel County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) providing all first responders with needle-resistant gloves. Laurel County can benefit by improving geographical diversification of providers and improve the access to treatment by increasing the number of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) providers. Opportunities for expansion of harm reduction strategies also include providing naloxone, training for naloxone administration, and encouraging community partners to develop policies to co-prescribe naloxone with opioids. The aim of this study is to provide resources, programs and services, and growth in providers and practitioners for the treatment of opioid and substance use disorder (OUD/SUD) in Laurel County, Kentucky.

Included in

Public Health Commons