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State Board Releases Nearly $2 Million to Combat Opioid Crisis

August 2, 2022
Cindy Abrams News

COLUMBUS – Monday, the Ohio State Controlling Board approved almost $2 million for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to contract with Johns Hopkins University to administer the lockable container pilot program. 

The news is welcomed by State Representative Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison), who called for such a program during negotiations over Ohio’s operating budget for FY2022-2023, House Bill 110. 

“As a former Cincinnati Police Officer, I saw on a daily basis the devastating consequences of the nearly two decade old opioid crisis. I’m very excited that a viable solution is officially off the ground,” said Abrams.  “Lockable vials stop the opioid epidemic at its source – the family medicine cabinet. The use of lockable containers is a common sense prevention measure to control access to potentially dangerous prescription medication, particularly for our kids and teens.”

The contract with Johns Hopkins has been in the making since the operating budget was signed into law back in August 2021. Included in the measure was a provision that requires OhioMHAS to conduct a pilot program under which lockable or tamper-evident containers are used by participating pharmacies when dispensing schedule II controlled substances in the form of an oral pill. 

Schedule II controlled substances include opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and fentanyl.

Johns Hopkins University will be responsible for administering the pilot program to determine whether the lockable containers have an impact on decreasing the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids. 

Abrams said she’ll be monitoring the program and its findings. 

“I’m hopeful that this program will provided needed answers for the Ohioans who have suffered during this crisis,” she said.