Ohio’s most pressing and urgent issue is the drug abuse and addiction epidemic that is ravaging our families and communities. Because the crisis threatens the health of our entire state and has the potential to prevent future growth, the Ohio House has taken great strides towards addressing its many sides with a multifaceted approach.

In the recently House-passed version of the state operating budget, we included provisions that invest $170.6 million in new money to fight drug addiction through coordinated care. Our focus is on four key areas: prevention, treatment, mental health, and workforce development, tackling the complete cycle of addiction and lifting individuals up and out of drug dependence.

The investment reflects the priorities and goals outlined in the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education, and Safety) Agenda, a major part of our policy platform, the Buckeye Pathway. Only by targeting each particular component of the addiction cycle in varied and distinctive ways can we hope to put a conclusive end to this crisis.

By putting a greater effort towards prevention, we can get in front of the epidemic and stop its influence on younger generations. From there, we must get those who are already struggling with addiction the proper treatment. With an expansion of treatment and detox options, the addicted can get sober with the help of trained professionals. However, addiction is a mental illness, and the state needs to have resources available to those who have been recently treated to ensure they do not fall victim to the grasps of addiction again. Once these individuals are back up on their feet, a strong workforce with accessible training and certification options open many doors for job opportunities, allowing them to create stable lives and contribute to society.

Ohio’s opioid epidemic is not easily overcome—it requires not only a hands-on approach from every direction, but also the collaboration of all interested parties, from state and local government to community leaders. I’m proud of the steps my fellow members and I took in the House version of the state budget to combat this issue, making it a top priority among a myriad of other important topics. Ohio’s communities have struggled for too long against this scourge, and it is time we each put our all into finding solutions to end it. For more information on building a drug-free future, please view StartTalking.Ohio.gov.

Featured Posts

Guest Column From State Representative Marlene Anielski: Task Forces Seek To Address Ohio's Most Pressing Issues


During this winter season, several specialized committees—task forces created by the Speaker of the House—have been meeting across Ohio to address specific policy areas. These task forces focus on Ohio’s most pressing issues, including the heroin and opioid crisis, energy policy, Alzheimer’s and dementia, education and poverty, and BRAC and military affairs. As the committees wrap up their research, I wanted to give you an update on the work they’ve been doing.


Representative Anielski Sworn In As State Representative Of The 6th House District

Columbus - 

State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) was sworn in yesterday as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. She represents the 6th Ohio House District, which includes the south-east portion of Cuyahoga County, for a fourth term.


Rep. Anielski Announces Military Benefits Fair In Brecksville On February 28th


The Senior Center of Brecksville joins State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) in hosting a Military / Veterans Benefits Fair on Friday, February 28th.


State Rep. Anielski Releases Statement On Nestlé Relocation To Solon


In response to the news that Nestlé USA will be moving its frozen pizza division from Illinois to Solon, which is expected to create 250 new jobs, State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) released a statement.