COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says he is urging the leadership of the Committee on the Judiciary for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015.
DeWine and attorneys general from 36 other states plus the District of Columbia sent a letter Tuesday to the leadership of the committees stressing their support for the legislation, which would provide states with the necessary tools to more effectively confront the growing challenge of heroin and opioid abuse and addiction.
“We know that addiction is a treatable disease, but we also know that many people who need treatment are not receiving it,” DeWine said. “While heroin and opioid abuse are a primary concern here in Ohio and across the county, we must move beyond simple responses to drug trends and emerging threats and concentrate on improving addiction treatment and recovery nationwide.”
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 is authored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
“I appreciate the support of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015. In order to help Americans struggling with drug addiction, we must get beyond a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach,” Portman said. “To prevent drug abuse and better help the tens of thousands of Ohioans struggling with addiction, we need a comprehensive strategy that starts from the bottom up. This legislation builds on proven methods to enable law enforcement to respond to this heroin epidemic and supports long-term recovery by connecting prevention and education efforts with treatment programs.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses now surpass automobile accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death for Americans between the ages of 25 and 64. More than 100 Americans die every day as a result of an overdose in the U.S. — more than half of them caused by prescription drugs or heroin.
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 will:
- Expand prevention and educational efforts – particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations – to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery;
- Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives;
- Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment;
- Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of children and adolescents;
- Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to assist in treatment and recovery throughout the country; and
- Strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and to help at-risk individuals access services.