COLUMBUS—State Representative Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) applauded the nearly $56 million in funding approved this week 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, initiated by the Ohio House and supported by Kick, to aggressively respond to drug addiction in the state.
According to documents from MHAS, the Ohio SOR plan will:
• Expand prevention efforts related to naloxone distribution
• Provide improved training to professionals responding to the opioid epidemic
• Deploy targeted awareness messaging in Ohio communities
• Expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
• Expand the use of certified peer supporters and access to recovery housing, particularly for families
• Develop employment opportunities for people in recovery
“This federal funding is just one tool that we as legislatures can leverage to help fight the opioid crisis,” Representative Kick said. “It is my hope that conversations, relationships, and accountability to one another will grow as a result of our efforts in this battle.”
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.