State Rep. Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) announced today that he will introduce legislation to encourage lawmakers to launch a major statewide initiative to battle Ohio’s heroin epidemic and prescription drug problems.
“Heroin is destroying our children and our families,” said Rep. Lundy. “This problem reaches into all communities. Yet, the state has been slow to make the investment needed to meet this problem head on and to save the lives of our children and loved ones. There is an immediate need here, and the need is great.”
The “Save Our Children Now” statewide initiative would be funded by excess dollars the state will receive from the expansion of Medicaid. It is estimated that the surplus could be as much as $400 million dollars. The major statewide initiative proposed by Rep. Lundy calls for $100 million dollars to be used to reduce the wait for treatment (some counties report two weeks to a month) and to address the lack of beds available for treatment statewide.
“Some in Columbus want to return the excess revenue in the form of a tax break. That won’t help to address this serious problem that is destroying lives each day,” added Rep. Lundy. “A major investment and a major initiative are needed now to save lives. This is a major health problem in our state. The sooner we can get Ohioans clean, the better life will be for their families and for getting them back to work to help our economy. This requires bold action now. We have been dragging our feet for far too long. No child or family is immune from this problem. One day you’re clean, the next day you’re an addict.”