COLUMBUS—In an effort to facilitate a constructive, public discussion on drug addiction in Ohio, the Ohio House of Representatives’ Prescription Drug Addiction and Healthcare Reform Study Committee will hold a regional hearing in Toledo on Tuesday, September 3rd. The hearing marks the third of four statewide hearings that strive to address this issue during the House’s summer recess.
“We are working side by side with Ohioans to address opioid addiction and keep our communities healthy,” said State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), who serves as chairman of the study committee. “Prescription drug abuse has been a widespread problem throughout the state and is truly a scourge that knows no ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. The hearing in Toledo will bring this discussion to the people of northwest Ohio so they can share with the committee their experiences and expertise.”
The public hearing will be held at 1 p.m. at ProMedica Toledo Hospital’s Education Center auditorium (2142 N. Cove. Blvd.). Other members from northwest Ohio who serve on the study committee are House Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Twp.) and Chairman of the House Health and Aging Committee Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon).
The goal of the study committee is to explore ways to address the issue of drug abuse and addiction, an issue that has become a rampant problem in Ohio. Since 2007, unintentional drug overdose death has been the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio. Two-thirds of these deaths involved a prescription opioid, more than cocaine, heroin and marijuana deaths combined.
The fight to address prescription drug abuse in Ohio was initiated by the signing of House Bill 93 into law in April 2011. Although this legislation was effective in helping to close Ohio’s pill mills, many Ohioans continue to struggle with addiction and move toward other illegal drugs, such as heroine, as accessibility of prescription opioids has decreased.
Members of the public are encouraged to testify on this important issue. Rep. Sprague requests that witness testimony be limited to five minutes or 1.5 single-spaced pages in length. Witnesses must fill out a witness form prior to testifying and should submit the witness form and written testimony to Rep. Sprague’s office 24 hours prior to the hearing, if possible. Individuals who decide to testify the day of the committee should supply 40 copies of written testimony upon arrival.
Testimony can be emailed in advance to Rep83@ohiohouse.gov. Other questions about the hearing may be directed to Rep. Sprague’s office at (614) 466-3819.
Media are strongly encouraged to attend.