The opioid and more specifically the heroin epidemic is a well known crisis throughout the state.
In 2014, 2,482 Ohioans died of a drug overdose. The staggering number is the most the state has seen in a single year.
To combat the issue both in Ohio and throughout the country, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced new legislation Feb. 10 that looks to address opioid addiction.
Brown’s bill would implement regular training for opioid prescribers so they can better diagnose and prevent addiction in the first place, while boosting services for treatment and recovery.
“Addiction isn’t an individual problem or a character flaw – it’s a chronic disease that, when left untreated, places a massive burden on our health care system, our families, and communities,” Brown said in a Feb. 10 press conference. “That’s why I’ve introduced the Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Reduction Act – a comprehensive solution to address this multifaceted problem. It should not be easier for Ohioans to get their hands on opioids than it is for them to get help to treat their addiction.”
During the call, Brown outlined the legislation, which uses an all-encompassing approach to address the issue. Brown’s bill looks to treat addiction, from crisis to recovery, including: boosting prevention, improving tools for crisis response, expanding treatment access and providing support for lifelong recovery.
Brown was joined by Juni Johnson, Director of the Paint Valley ADAMH, who discussed how Brown’s legislation would help her organization better serve Ohio residents.
“Sen. Brown’s bill would bring much-needed resources to fight the opiate epidemic across a whole continuum of care,” Johnson said. “It helps us to address addiction on many fronts including prevention in schools, crisis services, and evidence-based treatment that includes MAT. I applaud Senator Brown’s initiative to make a real difference in Ohio.”