State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today promoted the inaugural Prescription Drug Abuse and Awareness Education Day. In 2014, state legislators passed a law designating the awareness day as the first Friday in May.
“I am proud to have been a part of creating this important awareness day,” Rep. Sheehy said. “With the Department of Health’s recent report on Ohio’s drug epidemic, we are again reminded of the work still to be done to eradicate prescription drug addiction in our state. And the first step is education and awareness. We hope to continue to encourage open discussion about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and to help treat those who already find themselves addicted.”
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported that there have been more than 10,000 deaths caused by drug overdoses since 2002—mainly attributed to the state’s prescription pill and heroin epidemic. According to the report, from 1999 to 2013, Ohio has seen a 413 percent increase in deaths caused by overdoses.