State Reps. Rezabek, Sprague Hold Press Conference Addressing Ohio's Prescription Drug Epidemic
Lawmakers introduce legislation to expand access to live-saving drug Naloxone

State Representatives Jeff Rezabek (R-Clayton) and Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) held a press conference today near Dayton to discuss Ohio’s prescription drug epidemic and legislation they have recently introduced to help solve the problem.

The two lawmakers were joined by Trotwood Fire Chief Steve Milliken and ADAMHS Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley, both of whom shared their perspectives for how the opioid problem has specifically impacted Montgomery County.

“The opioid problem has created huge issues for Montgomery County and Ohio as a whole,” Rezabek said. “In our county, it used to be defined as a city of Dayton problem, but the epidemic has spread to the suburban and rural areas. I look forward to working in the 131st General Assembly to fight the opioid problem that is plaguing the State of Ohio.”

Additionally, Reps. Rezabek and Sprague discussed House Bill 4, legislation they have introduced that would expand access to Naloxone, a live-saving medication used to combat an opioid-related overdose. In essence, Naloxone reverses the effects that opioids have on the body, which, during an overdose, can effectively shut down a person’s respiratory system.

“House Bill 4 is just one piece of the overall approach to address the opioid epidemic in the State of Ohio,” said Representative Sprague. “By allowing physicians to issue protocols for the furnishing of naloxone, this bill will increase access to this life-saving drug throughout our state.”

House Bill 4 builds off the work of House Bill 170 in the previous General Assembly. The current process of dispensing Naloxone can be financially burdensome because prescribers are still required to be present when the drug is distributed. HB 4 removes this requirement, allowing physicians to authorize the furnishing of Naloxone to someone at risk of an opioid-related overdose.

House Bill 4 was referred to the House Health & Aging Committee and is scheduled to receive its second hearing next week.

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