Lexington Health Commissioner Humbaugh Discusses Drug Crisis at Rotary

Jun 2, 2017

Fayette Health Commissioner Kraig Humbaugh Before Lexington Rotarians
Credit Stu Johnson

The head of Lexington’s health department took to the podium at Thursday’s Rotary Club meeting. 

Dr. Kraig Humbaugh spent most of his time focusing on the community’s serious drug addiction problem.


Fayette Health Commissioner Kraig Humbaugh spoke about how local heroin death rates are higher than state and national figures.

The increased use of heroin comes following tighter controls on prescription pills. 

That was on the mind of Rotarian Dean Hammond when Dr. Humbaugh took questions. “Seems to me if we use a logical approach to this thing, we can eliminate the needles, all of it, Hep C, all the exchanges of diseases, if we gave them back their pills….I’m not kidding….because right now we induce that by taking away the supply of pills they were using, and that was immediately where they went to heroin."

Humbaugh responded by saying, “In a way we’ve created the problem.”  The health commissioner added alternatives to pain medications may help prevent some addictions.

“That may be more use of local anesthesia for procedures rather than knocking somebody out.  It may be using acupuncture, it may be using physical therapy to help them,” responded Humbaugh.

Humbaugh admits insurance coverage for pain medications is often easier than getting coverage for alternative methods.​