Operation UNITE and HarborPath Awarded $1 Million Grant to Fund Naloxone-Plus Program in Kentucky

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that Operation UNITE has received a $1 million grant to launch its Naloxone-Plus initiative across 33 counties in eastern Kentucky. Pictured (left to right): Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Committee Executive Director Bryan Hubbard, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Operation UNITE President & CEO Nancy Hale, HarborPath President Ken Trogdon (Photo: Business Wire)

FRANKFORT, Ky.--()--A pair of nonprofits are partnering to save lives from the overdose epidemic in Kentucky by expanding access to free naloxone. Operation UNITE received a $1 million grant from the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission on Thursday to launch its Naloxone-Plus initiative in partnership with HarborPath. The announcement was made at the Kentucky state capitol by Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Through this grant – funded by opioid settlement dollars awarded to the Commonwealth of Kentucky – Operation UNITE and HarborPath will expand access to free life-saving medication and provide additional resources for those struggling with addiction. Naloxone, also commonly known as Narcan, can reverse an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids.

Although naloxone was recently approved by the FDA for over-the-counter sales, numerous barriers remain to providing access for drug users, their friends and families, first responders, and those likely to witness drug use.

Operation UNITE’s Naloxone-Plus initiative offers a comprehensive lifesaving intervention by utilizing naloxone to decrease overdose death rates and increase education about treatment availability to those at risk of continued addiction. UNITE offers the availability, distribution, and education of naloxone, coupled with prevention efforts, within its 33-county service region in eastern Kentucky.

UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) has been serving southern and eastern Kentucky since 2003 in providing substance abuse prevention programs, youth education and treatment access.

“This is a powerful investment in our purpose and in our people,” said UNITE president Nancy Hale. “We are undertaking this effort not just to save lives but to save generations and to save communities. Our grant program will provide the short-term, immediate life-saving medicine naloxone. But we call this program Naloxone-Plus because the added ingredient is prevention. Through this long-term approach, we will help people chart a new path – one that expands Operation UNITE’s mission of providing hope and changing the culture.”

The initiative has two primary goals. The first is increased access to naloxone and the means to obtain treatment. Narcan 4mg and Kloxxado 8mg will be made available for free at places where people congregate, to schools, libraries, funeral homes, discount stores, marinas, churches, recovery housing, music venues, and direct-to-consumer for non-biased, easy accessibility. The second goal is prevention. The Naloxone-Plus program ensures that anyone provided with naloxone will receive education on treatment options and funding, and direct lines to resources and support.

Naloxone distribution will be cost-effective and efficient through Operation UNITE’s partnership with HarborPath, a national nonprofit that specializes in securing free life-saving medication for vulnerable populations who need it most. As likeminded nonprofits working to save lives from the opioid epidemic, HarborPath began working with UNITE last year to create a full-time prevention projects coordinator position.

By utilizing strategic business, nonprofit and municipal partnerships, HarborPath has distributed over $88 million worth of various medications to the uninsured for free over the last decade. HarborPath can provide the lowest public interest price on naloxone to ensure the grant’s dollars have the greatest impact.

“HarborPath is dedicated to putting an end to the opioid epidemic by making naloxone affordable and available to those who need it most,” said HarborPath president Ken Trogdon. “We are honored to partner with Operation UNITE in launching the Naloxone-Plus program and providing access to naloxone in the Appalachian Region. Nancy Hale and her team have shown tremendous leadership in fighting the overdose epidemic through education, treatment, and prevention. It's a privilege for us to join them in this initiative as we work tirelessly to save lives. We're grateful for the Kentucky Opioid Abatement Advisory Commission and its executive director Bryan Hubbard for making this life-saving program possible."

The initiative will utilize the efficient inventory management and distribution technology of FFF Enterprises to effectively distribute this life-saving medication where it’s needed most. FFF Enterprises is HarborPath’s exclusive naloxone distributor and provides the program with efficient inventory management and distribution technology to effectively distribute this life-saving medication. Utilizing FFF Enterprises’ state-of-the-art inventory tracking technology will provide important data on the Naloxone-Plus program to help formulate future decisions on effective naloxone distribution in Kentucky.

"Operation UNITE has a 20-year history of saving lives from drug use and addiction in communities that are some of the most impacted by addiction and overdoses," said FFF Enterprises CEO Patrick Schmidt. "We are proud to provide our distribution expertise and resources to aid UNITE in its Naloxone-Plus program. As drug overdose deaths from illicit fentanyl and opioids continue to spike, initiatives like this will combat this horrible crisis and ultimately save lives."

Operation UNITE’s Naloxone-Plus initiative can serve as a model program in how states and communities can partner with nonprofit organizations to save lives from the opioid and overdose crisis. HarborPath is in discussions with multiple states and organizations to provide similar life-saving initiatives to other communities heavily impacted by overdose deaths.

For more information, visit HarborPath.org.

About HarborPath

HarborPath is a national nonprofit that provides underinsured and vulnerable patient populations in the United States with free, life-saving specialty medications. By utilizing strategic business, nonprofit and municipal partnerships, HarborPath has distributed over $88 million worth of free medication to the uninsured over the last decade. HarborPath’s Narcan Right Now initiative provides communities suffering from the opioid and illicit fentanyl epidemic with access to life-saving Narcan/naloxone. Narcan Right Now utilizes efficient inventory management and distribution technology by FFF Enterprises to effectively distribute this life-saving medication where it’s needed most.

About Operation UNITE

Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) is a non-profit organization created in 2003 by U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-5th) to provide a regional, community-based, anti-drug response to the prescription drug epidemic sweeping across southern and eastern Kentucky. UNITE is a collaborative model striving to prevent abuse of drugs and facilitate recovery. We create strategic partnerships. We provide leadership. We promote education. We coordinate treatment. We support law enforcement. This pioneering holistic approach in our 33-county service area has become a model for other states and the nation. UNITE also serves as the Educational Advisor for the Rx and Illicit Drug Summit, the most influential annual gathering for stakeholders to discuss what is working in prevention, treatment, and law enforcement.


Ben Coldagelli, bcoldagelli@goodengroup.com

Release Summary

Nonprofit receives $1 million grant to save lives from the overdose and fentanyl epidemic by expanding access to free naloxone and Narcan in Kentucky.


Ben Coldagelli, bcoldagelli@goodengroup.com