YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor was in the Mahoning Valley Monday, trying to pull together support for the governor’s new programs to fight against opiate death.
The state says that over 3,000 Ohioans died of drug overdoses last year, and it’s well on its way to becoming the leading cause of death in many cities across the state.
The governor’s office is launching a new statewide effort to emphasize to teenagers and college students that prescription drugs aren’t just “harmless” party drugs; they’re the first step on the road to addiction.
Gov. Kasich is also calling for stronger laws on how opiate drugs can be prescribed by doctors.
Taylor says the effort involves close collaboration with the medical community.
“To start having better conversations and prescribing protocols in place so we do not have excess pills, opiates, pain pills being prescribed in the first place.”
They’re proposing laws that would inform patients of how addictive their pills can be.
She says she also wants to see support for addicts after they’ve been revived with naloxone, so first responders aren’t treating the same people for overdoses again and again.
“We really have to wrap our arms around the entire problem and get these individuals into good treatment programs and to start dealing with the brain disease. Just saving their lives is only one step,” Taylor said.
Taylor also spoke with community groups in Warren on Monday.
On November 16, WKBN 27 First News is airing a live town hall at 7 p.m.: “27 Investigates – The Heroin Crisis: National Problem, Local Solutions.” You’ll be able to watch it on channel 27 or stream it live on WKBN.com.