COLUMBUS—The Ohio House Health Committee began hearings today on State Representative Jay Edwards’ legislation to help in the fight against the state’s drug addiction epidemic.
House Bill 167 would reduce overprescribing of opioid pain pills by limiting the dosage physicians can prescribe. The bill also requires a physician who provides medication-assisted treatment for addiction in accordance with federal law to offer each patient treatment with naltrexone. To help improve treatment, this bill also requires the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to develop online courses for counseling required by federal law for patients receiving office-based medication-assisted treatment.
Rep. Edwards (R-Nelsonville) told the committee he’s a proud Ohioan who wants Ohio to be the very best of what America has to offer. Unfortunately, he said, Ohio has become a national leader in heroin and synthetic drug overdoses.
“We can hardly pick up a paper or watch the news without hearing about someone that has been affected by the opioid epidemic,” said Rep. Edwards. “Here’s just a small sample of the misery it has left in its wake: families being torn apart, babies being born chemically dependent, our law enforcement and drug courts asking for help, our addiction recovery services overcrowded, and our foster care system stretched too thin. And the list goes on.”
The legislation is known as Daniel’s Law, named for Daniel Weidle of Germantown, who tragically died of an overdose in 2015 after battling addiction for years. Daniel’s father, Scott, has made it his mission to share Daniel’s story in the hopes of educating others about addiction.
“This legislation is not intended to be the sole solution to a complex problem,” Rep. Edwards told the committee. “I think we can all agree we are not going to legislate our way out of this epidemic, nor are we going to arrest our way out of it. I believe it will take a holistic approach. And I believe House Bill 167 is an important part of that overall solution.”