Kentucky’s Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission (KYOAAC) held the second of two public hearings and general information sessions regarding its plan to allocate $42 million from state funds for ibogaine research to support the treatment of addictions and to help stem opioid overdoses.
On Friday, Sept. 15, the commission heard over two dozen military veterans, former patients, parents and family members, psychologists and other advocates for treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) with the naturally-occurring psychedelics. The shared their insights and hopes, following the first hearing (on July 17) which featured scientific experts and clinicians.
KYOAAC is responsible for distributing half of the opioid settlement funds ($421 million) toward the delivery of interventional, therapeutic and recovery services for individuals, families and communities that have been devastated by the opioid addiction epidemic.
Next up, on Nov. 15 the commission will vote on whether to allocate the funding over the next six years. If approved, the funds will come from the state’s share of the $842 million in settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in exacerbating the deadly opioid crisis.
The speakers included a former NBA player and former politicians Rick Perry (R-TX) and Ben Chandler (D-KY). Perry stated he saw ibogaine’s benefits firsthand with veterans Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) and his brother Marcus. Chandler, who leads the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky shared he'd been affected by the state’s opioid crisis on a personal level.
Related bills have been introduced recently on the federal level, such as the bipartisan HR 3684 creating a $75 million federal grant program to support clinical research into the potential of psychedelics being used for certain health conditions among active duty military service members.
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Photo: Benzinga edit with photo by Foxyliam and Chones on Shutterstock and Wikimedia Commons.