"It's alive and well in Eastern Kentucky"; Prostitution increases to fuel drug addictions

Published: Jul. 29, 2019 at 6:47 PM EDT
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Local officials claim prostitution is becoming more popular in Eastern Kentucky as women and men are fueling their drug addictions.

When you think of prostitution, many envision a woman standing on a street corner asking for money in exchange for sexual favors.

"The big thing is, they're not on the street. They're doing it at these residence and dope houses," said Johnson County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Clark. "That's not what it is in Eastern Kentucky. It's alive and well."

Deputy Clark told WYMT, prostitution goes hand in hand with drug addiction.

"If they don't have money, they'll do anything they have to do," Clark pointed out.

Sometimes addiction leads people to do things they normally would not.

"Females and the males as well are trading themselves for their drugs," said Clark.

Clark explained that addiction and prostitution is a vicious cycle.

"If you need dope, you don't have any money, you go steal something. They will sell it, trade it or whatever. You go buy your dope. If you need dope and can't steal something and someone is interested in you that has some dope, then you trade a sexual favor for their dope," explained Deputy Clark.

This sad situation is what some women find themselves in every day.

"Oftentimes when you see individuals engaging in prostitution, they have had either some kind of trauma in their childhood or adolescence like sexual abuse," explained Dr. Tiffany Slone.

Dr. Slone is a Clinician for the Break The Cycle program at West Care Emergency Shelter.

She said usually women or men in prostitution are depressed.

"They do experience a lot of self-worth problems, low self-esteem and they do feel lost," Dr. Slone pointed out.

Places like the shelter or addiction recovery centers can offer help.

"That's what we're here for, to offer people that hope and to offer them treatment. Substance abuse treatment as well as mental health," said Dr. Slone.

If you or a loved one is in need of counseling and a place to live, you can call the West Care Emergency Shelter at (606) 432-9442.