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Ohio House Passes Bill Addressing Opioid Crisis in Ohio

Provisions cover addiction services, regulation of drugs
December 9, 2016
Republican Newsroom

State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) applauded the Ohio House of Representatives for building on previous legislative work by passing comprehensive legislation to address Ohio’s opioid addiction epidemic. The bill, which is considered the opioid mid-biennium review proposal from Governor John Kasich, includes various provisions to help stop the scourge of drug addiction in Ohio.

The House-passed version of Senate Bill 319, sponsored by Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township), contains various provisions, some of which include:

• Reducing the number of prescription opioids being mishandled and illegally diverted by implementing additional oversight for certain entities and state licensees
• Removing the link between financial reimbursement and prescribers deciding to provide or not provide prescription narcotics
• Requiring prescribers to show that opioids prescribed for chronic pain are medically necessary, while promoting the use of medical treatments that can potentially address the underlying conditions that cause chronic pain
• Civil immunity protections for law enforcement that carry and administer naloxone
• Authorizing additional entities to provide access to the life-saving medication, naloxone
• Improving and expanding access to behavioral health treatment throughout Ohio
• Providing a path of recovery for pregnant mothers that have an addiction, which will promote better health outcomes for expecting mothers and their babies

Rep. Sprague, who also chairs the Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, provided a statement regarding the bill:

“The passage of Senate Bill 319 is another step in the right direction to address our state’s addiction epidemic,” said Rep. Sprague. “Building on our previous work, this bill, among other provisions, will prevent Ohioans from becoming addicted to prescription opioids and increase access to treatment.”

The bill now goes to the Governor for further consideration.