Nicholasville businessman to hold rally against drug dealers

Published 3:42 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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Nicholasville businessman Ron McCauley is hosting a Family & Friends Against Drug Dealers Rally on Thursday, May 18 at 6 p.m. in the Edgewood Plaza near Fiesta Mexico.

McCauley lost his son to a drug overdose on February 9, 2023. His youngest of five sons, Alex, had struggled with substance use disorder for about 20 years. Alex was the father of an 8-year-old and according to his father, he had a great and healthy holiday season with his family.

Since his death, McCauley has had people from all over the county find him to give him their condolences for his loss, and many of these people told him they too had lost someone; a son, a nephew, a mother, a brother, a best friend or a neighbor to an overdose death.

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It is no coincidence that McCauley heard from so many locals who could relate to his grieving.

In 2021, about 2,381 Kentucky residents died from a drug overdose which was good for the fourth-highest rate in the nation and was only surpassed by Tennessee, Louisiana, and West Virginia,

Jessamine County had the fifth-highest overdose rate in Kentucky in 2018 but has since improved slightly. But according to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Jessamine County’s northern neighbor, Fayette County, has the second-highest number of overdose deaths involving fentanyl in the state.

Fentanyl was identified in more than half of the 2,381 overdose cases in Kentucky in 2021.

Heroin was Alex’s drug of choice.

“Before, when my son relapsed, we could get him straight and get him to another rehab and get him back. But today when they relapse, they don’t get to go back to rehab because the fentanyl is killing them.”

McCauley believes Jessamine County officials need to put more pressure on drug dealers, including more jail time and higher bail. He also believes residents need more incentive to speak up when they know the whereabouts and identity of a drug dealer who sold to someone who subsequently overdosed.

Rehab Resources, The Shepherd House, CPR training, and Revive Life House in Nicholasville will be in attendance at the rally. Free Narcan will also be available to all attendees.

Several local leaders including State Senator Don Douglass and Mayor Alex Carter will be in attendance.

For McCauley, this rally is only the first step. A signup sheet will be available for any attendee interested in getting organized.

McCauley said he has planned four legs for this group:

First, he will gather a group to meet with county judges, Jessamine County Sheriff Kevin Grimes and Nicholasville Chief of Police Todd Justice to talk in a “respectful, honorable manner,” about the “crisis that we’re in,” McCauley said.

There will be another group that will sit in the courtroom during drug dealer arraignments.

For the third leg, McCauley is planning on fundraising as a group to raise reward money for whenever someone turns a dealer in, and to support people with substance use disorder who need assistance.

For the group’s last leg, McCauley said, “I’m a Vietnam veteran, I know what it is to be a soldier. We will make citizen arrests.”

He believes that together, the area can make a difference.

“One voice can’t be heard but all our voices together can be heard loud and clear,” McCauley said.