Ohio Opiate Epidemic Takes Center Stage

Ohio's Opiate Epidemic Takes Center Stage

Governor John Kasich announced an additional $36 million in federal and local funds to be used toward combating prescription drug abuse in Ohio last week at an opiate abuse summit, co-sponsored by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA) and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS). Kasich said these funds will cover treatment and rehabilitation for those addicted to prescription drugs. He also announced the creation of Opiate Task Forces in 23 Ohio counties. Kasich expressed his full support of House Bill 93, known as the Pill Mill Bill, which will go after the “pill mill” practices.

ODADAS Director Orman Hall also addressed those gathered for the summit, reminding the various health care professionals, substance prevention and treatment professionals, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and others, that unintentional drug overdoses have remained the leading cause of accidental death in the state since 2007. He said Scioto County lies at the heart of the epidemic with 9.7 million doses of prescription painkillers being dispensed last year alone; that is the equivalent of 123 doses for every man, woman and child in that county.

Drug-Free Action Alliance also stands firm in the battle against prescription drug abuse. We want to gather as much information as we can about what efforts taking place in communities throughout Ohio. If your local coalition is leading or involved in any activities surround prescription drug abuse, we would like to know about it.

Please contact Drug-Free Action Alliance Asst. Director Marcie Seidel at mseidel@drugfreeactionalliance.org to report your local efforts.