On Friday, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a public hearing regarding the impact of the opioid epidemic in Ohio.
Portman, a member of HSGAC and the author of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, along with Brown, author of the Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Reduction Act, heard testimony from experts and those battling against addiction.
“Cleveland has been hit especially hard by the addiction epidemic,” Portman said. “Cleveland has a lot to teach the country about how serious the threat of addiction is, as well as about effective prevention and treatment. The reason why the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, legislation I co-authored in the United States Senate, passed 94 to 1 is because we consulted with public health experts, doctors, and patients in recovery. This hearing is the next step as we continue our efforts to reverse the tide of addiction and save lives.”
“This issue has hit every community across the state, but it is particularly acute here in northeast Ohio. Last year in Cuyahoga County, at least one Ohioan died every day from a drug overdose,” Brown said. “It’s time for us to get serious, and call this what it is – a public health crisis that demands real, immediate investment. You can’t look at the spike in the number of deaths and conclude anything else.”
The purpose of the hearing was to examine the addiction epidemic, including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, and its effects on lives, families, and communities in Northeast Ohio, as well as efforts to prevent and treat those suffering from addiction.