Vice Chairman of the House Prescription Drug Addiction and Healthcare Reform Study Committee Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) yesterday joined other members of the study committee at a press conference to discuss the study committee’s recommendations and findings.

The study committee, which was initiated by Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) as an effort to address drug abuse and addiction, reached out to Ohioans through a series of regional hearings intended to elicit ideas and feedback from interested parties.

“This epidemic—the enormity of it—can’t be questioned, and because of that, the response has to be equal if not greater,” said Rep. Smith. “We know that there are no silver bullets to solve this problem. This is the first step in a long effort to make a difference, and I commend Speaker Batchelder, chairman of the study committee Robert Sprague, and all the members of the committee for giving this problem the attention it deserves.”

Among the findings of the study committee are recommendations to limit the amount of opioids being prescribed through Ohio’s medical system to slow the rate of new people becoming addicted; to prevent people who are already addicted from diverting more pills from the medical system; to keep people alive even while they are consumed by the misery of their addiction in the hopes that they will eventually get treatment and recover; to integrate addiction treatment that is now practiced in medical silos; and to fund the court system’s specialty dockets that are clearly providing success in getting people off opioids.

The report also outlines potential opportunities for legislation that will incorporate suggestions from the more than 80 witnesses who testified before the committee.


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