COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) applauded the nearly $56 million in funding today approved by the Ohio Controlling Board to combat the opioid epidemic.

The State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant, implemented by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) and awarded by the federal government, supplements the more than $180 million in new money appropriated through 2017’s state operating budget and initiated by the Ohio House to aggressively respond to drug addiction in the state. The SOR project also advances the work established by the 21st Century CURES State Target Response Initiative.

According to documents from OhioMHAS, the Ohio SOR plan includes diverse strategies that stem from work with various support systems and aims to fill gaps in service by:

• Expanding prevention efforts related to naloxone distribution
• Providing improved training to professionals responding to the opioid epidemic
• Deploying targeted awareness messaging in Ohio communities
• Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
• Expanding the use of certified peer supporters and access to recovery housing, particularly for families
• Developing employment opportunities for people in recovery

“Today’s approval of funding that will be dispersed to Ohio’s communities and mental health professionals goes to support those who are on the front lines of fighting the drug epidemic,” Speaker Smith said. “Whether it has been through new money allocated in last year’s budget, or commonsense policy initiatives led by the legislature, fighting this scourge remains a number-one priority for members of the Ohio House.”

Projections submitted to the board estimate that treatment and recovery support services would be provided to 9,000 addicted individuals, a total of 18,000 people over the span of the 2-year project.


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