Keeping Ohioans Safe And Healthy
Guest Column from Representative Marilyn Slaby
June 25, 2014
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The health and safety of Ohioans is an issue that the Ohio House of Representatives has made a priority over the course of this General Assembly.  We’re working hard to pass legislation that keeps the well-being of our constituents in mind, at all times.  This includes House Bill 49, House Bill 296 and also bills related to the opiate epidemic in the state.

Abuse and the financial exploitation of the elderly are unfortunately common in our state. House Bill 49 is designed to protect the elderly by requiring employees, who work in the financial field, to report situations of suspected abuse and neglect. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is also working on developing a registry to locate patterns and trends of abuse. This would help to shield older Americans from abuse and financial exploitation.

The bill also establishes a statewide Elder Abuse Commission created to research the abuse of the elderly. The commission would promote awareness, improve policies and assist these victims. 

Another bill that has gained attention is House Bill 296. Allergic reactions can cause life threatening situations for individuals with allergies. During an allergic reaction emergency, an Epinephrine Autoinjector (EpiPen) is needed to combat the reaction with a dose of adrenaline. HB 296 proposes that public schools, residential camps and day camps be granted the ability to obtain EpiPens without a license in case an emergency were to arise.

The bill will also allow drug manufacturers to donate EpiPens or let these places accept financial donations for their purchase.  This would save money and help school districts obtain EpiPens for emergency situations.

Opiate addiction has unfortunately become a major problem in the state of Ohio. It is imperative that we pass legislation that addresses this issue with the goal of strengthening the requirements for prescriptions and preventing the abuse of opioids. The standards for prescribing opioids have also been reinforced.  In order to help people from becoming addicted we must stop the pattern of addiction. Programs need to be in place to treat addiction and reduce the current problem, which is something we are working on.  It is my hope that Ohioans get the help that they need and the care that is necessary to curtail this epidemic.

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