As vice chair of the Health and Aging Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives, I’ve learned a great deal in regards to the health of our state. Our committee deals with many different issues, and more recently, we have been discussing the heartbreaking drug problem that exists here.


Opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone and heroin, have taken hold of many Ohioans and are affecting families all over the state. According to the Department of Health, drug overdoses in Ohio have increased 440 percent in the past 10 years and, in 2011, 1,765 Ohioans died of unintentional overdoses. In the legislature, we are doing our best to find solutions to this problem. In fact, the House recently passed legislation that makes naloxone hydrochloride more readily available so that it can be on hand for an individual who is overdosing from the use of opioids. This legislation could literally save lives.


Naloxone hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, reverses the effects of opiate/opioids overdose in just a few minutes and has been used in the emergency room for years. House Bill 170 allows physicians to provide Narcan to family or friends of an addict if they are at risk of overdosing. It also makes strides to make sure that emergency first responders possess and can administer Narcan to someone who is overdosing.


House Bill 170 is imperative to being proactive and realistic about the opiate problem in Ohio. As we find ways to eliminate drug use in our communities, it’s imperative that we also provide ways to save those who have already turned to drug use. This bill offers a solution for that. It’s currently in making its way through the Senate.


Ohio is full of wonderful communities and it’s difficult to understand that there are places in the state that are struggling with this issue. However, I know that legislation like this is making a difference. It can save a life so that those individuals can possibly be on the road to recovery.

 
 
 
  
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Representative Gonzales Sworn In As State Representative Of The 19th House District

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) today was sworn in as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. She represents the 19th Ohio House District, which includes the cities of Westerville, Gahanna and New Albany; Sharon, Blendon, Plain and Mifflin Townships; the Village of Minerva Park and portions of Columbus. This will be her fourth full term in the Ohio House.