COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today introduced House Bill 535, or the Opioid Data and Communication Expansion Act. This legislation seeks to arm state and local entities with more information in order to fight the drug epidemic.

The newly introduced legislation would require the Ohio Department of Public Safety to submit non-identifying information related to the administration of naloxone, such as location, date and number of doses applied to the Department of Health. The data collected would then be broken down according to county and sent to each county’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board (ADAMHS) on a monthly basis in order to properly allocate resources to services based on need in each specific area.

“After many conversations with Wood County substance abuse and drug addiction experts, I found out just how little data we have to estimate the magnitude of the opioid problem in our state,” Rep. Gavarone said. “Giving our ADAMHS Boards this needed information will allow them to plan for the expansion of priority services, better allocate resources and improve the response to parts of a county or region dealing with a spike in overdoses or a particularly potent batch. This legislation also has the added benefit of providing even more information for our amazing hospitals, prescribers and pharmacists so they can play a bigger role in fighting this epidemic.”

Additional provisions in the bill include:

• Requiring hospitals to submit to the Department of Health the number of drug overdoses brought to the hospital during the previous month and whether the overdose was fatal or non-fatal
• Requiring that naltrexone (Vivitrol) be monitored within the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS)

Stemming from concerns brought forward by local ADAMHS Boards, the bill would help to improve response time when spikes in overdose deaths occur so that schools, churches and businesses can be made aware of potential danger. This information would also help expand education, intervention, treatment and recovery supports, while prioritizing services where needed the most.

The bill was introduced today and will now be referred to a House committee for further consideration.


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