COLUMBUS - 

Chairman of the House Prescription Drug Addiction and Healthcare Reform Study Committee Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) today was joined by Vice Chairman of the study committee Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and other members of the House at a press conference to discuss a package of bills that addresses opioid addiction in Ohio.


Through a series of regional hearings intended to elicit ideas and feedback from interested parties, the study committee learned more about Ohio’s opioid use epidemic, which was the driving force behind the pieces of legislation included in the package.


“This summer, our committee learned how pervasive and devastating opioid addiction is in Ohio,” said Rep. Sprague. “Drug overdose has now surpassed traffic accidents to become the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, and prescription opioids account for more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.”


“The regional hearings and the feedback we received from Ohioans were the genesis for many bipartisan bills in the House,” said Rep. Smith. “I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Rep. Sprague and members of the House to find solutions to the growing problem of addiction in our communities.”


The bills included in the package strive to accomplish three main goals: stop more people from becoming addicted by decreasing the amount of prescription painkillers being prescribed in the medical system; keep addicts alive while preventing them from diverting more pills out of the medical system; and get people effective treatment so they can recover.


Specifically, the package includes the following proposals:
• House Bill 314 (Baker, Kunze) – Prevents opioids from being prescribed to minors without their parents’ consent
• House Bill 332 (Wachtmann, Antonio) – Creates higher standards of care requirements for physicians treating chronic, non-cancer pain
• House Bill 341 (Smith) – Requires all prescribers to check the OARRS system before giving a prescription for an opioid
• House Bill 359 (Sprague) – Requires a consumer fact sheet to be given to patients receiving an opioid prescription
• House Bill 363 (Sprague, Driehaus) – Creates a 9-1-1 Good Samaritan law that exempts someone from prosecution for minor possession if they attempt to save the life of someone who is overdosing
• House Bill 366 (Sprague) – Requires hospice organizations to appoint one person to keep track of medications used, do pill counts, lock up unused medicaition, and dispose of medication after it’s no longer needed
• House Bill 367 (Sprague, Driehaus) – Requires prescription pill addiction and the linkage to heroin be taught as part of the health class curriculum in our schools
• House Bill 369 (Sprague) – Requires each county to have the full spectrum of integrated opioid addiction recovery treatment and recovery housing. It also requires insurance and Medicaid to pay for opioid recovery treatment, and provides funding for specialty drug courts.
• House Bill 378 (Sprague, Smith) – Requires drug recovery treatment to accompany prescriptions for medication assisted treatment drugs
• Rep. Sears will introduce a bill requiring that opioid prescriptions for acute pain be filled in small increments instead of all at once.
• Rep. Sears will introduce a bill requiring an individual to show their driver’s license or photo identification when picking up an opioid prescription.


“This epidemic is growing under the current structure of our medical system and addiction treatment system,” said Rep. Sprague. “These bipartisan bills represent transformational change in both systems. I believe that with the help of the medical community, the treatment community, and the criminal justice system, we can break the back of this epidemic together.”

 
 
 
  
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