WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) – Clark County has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 counties in the Commonwealth for the rate of overdose deaths.

It’s a problem that is plaguing the area.

In the most recent Overdose Fatality Report, Clark County ranked second for its rate of overdose deaths.

Deric Lostutter has seen firsthand how the drug epidemic impacts small communities like Clark county. He moved to Winchester in high school, but says the county was hit hard in the 2010s.

Lostutter said, “I’ve had friends that have graduated high school graduated college and got strung out and lost custody of their kids. Everybody getting hooked on pills that was the catalyst for that all then it moved on to harder drugs.”

And harder drugs like fentanyl is exactly what the county is seeing. According to the 2020 Overdose Fatality Report issued by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, of the close to 2,000 overdose deaths in the Commonwealth that year more than 1300 were linked to fentanyl.

Brittney Snedegar with Voices of Hope, a recovery support organization in Lexington, said, “It breaks my heart just driving down the street and you can spot people that are struggling with addiction and the need for recovery resources I think it’s more so now after coming through the pandemic.”

Groups in Clark County are recognizing that need. ART or Achieving Recovery Together moved to a location right downtown to increase its visibility, a step recovery experts say is needed to end addiction.

To give you an idea of how hard Clark County has been hit drugs like fentanyl and meth, in 2020 Fayette County had 150 overdose deaths compared to 35 in Clark County, but Clark County only has 36,000 residents compared to 300,000 in Fayette.