During my first year in the legislature, I have been closely monitoring the opioid epidemic that has been overtaking our state and country. It’s been a complex and comprehensive issue, one that has required cracking down on pill mills and prescription drug laws and increasing prevention efforts. We’ve made great strides in some areas, but a recent announcement by the Ohio Department of Health reveals that there is much more work to be done.


In 2016, over 4,000 deaths of Ohioans were caused by unintentional drug overdoses, a statistic up 32.8 percent from 2015. Much of this increase was found to be due to the presence of stronger drugs, like fentanyl and carfentanil, demonstrating how the opioid crisis continues to evolve. Fentanyl and related drugs were involved in more than half of these drug overdose deaths, compared to 37.9 percent in 2015.


Fentanyl can be hundreds of times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil is even stronger than that. These drugs are so often mixed with other substances, unknowingly to the user, resulting in tougher addictions and more overdoses. We have to help those who are struggling, putting an end to the addiction cycle and cutting off the demand for heroin and other drugs that keep dealers employed.


Through the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education, and Safety) Agenda at the Ohio House, we’ve worked to establish preventative measures while funneling funds towards the organizations that are on the front lines of this epidemic. For those in the 16th House District and the rest of northeastern Ohio, the ADAMHS (Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services) Board of Cuyahoga County is a great resource for the addicted and their loved ones.


Its mission is to improve the wellbeing of our community by eliminating substance abuse and addiction in Cuyahoga County and enhancing support for mental illness, which is so often associated with addiction. More information can be found at adamhscc.org or by calling (216) 241-3400. If you or someone you know is fighting addiction, I encourage you to reach out to the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County or another resource for support. Only through asking and receiving help can we hope to end this crisis and return to a healthy Ohio.

 
 
 
  
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Representative Greenspan Sworn In As State Representative Of The 16th House District

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) was sworn in yesterday as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. He represents the 16th Ohio House District, which includes Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River, and Westlake.