With the growing epidemic of prescription pill abuse and the rise in heroin addiction, two Ohio senators are introducing new legislation to help with prevention and recovery. Both U.S Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have introduced new bills in February 2016 to address this growing epidemic. With a push towards rehabilitation and recovery instead of incarceration both these bills are being seen as a positive move forward for addressing drug addiction.
Understanding the Need for Rehab
When it comes to addiction, most people don’t understand that this disease can not only impact the life of the addict but can also affect their family, friends, and also the community around them. If someone is struggling with substance abuse, the best option always is to seek treatment. When finding the best, and most qualified addiction rehab in Ohio, a good place to start is http://www.recoveryhub.com/. From inpatient and outpatient treatment to intervention and detox, finding help for an addiction is just a simple online search away.
One of the main problems with defining substance abuse is that an addict doesn’t fit neatly into one box and the same is true about treatment. Every addict has different needs and goals and there is not a “one size fits all” treatment option to defining dependence. This is especially true when it comes to prescription pill addiction. Some addicts enter their substance abuse at an early age and have transitioned over from recreational drugs like marijuana. Others start taking prescription drugs trying to wean themselves off of heavier substances like heroin and meth. Some simply become addicts from taking pain medication after an accident and can’t find a way to stop the madness. An addiction treatment center understands all these unique needs and can find the right path for recovery for each individual.
The Difference in Both Bills
For these reasons, these new bills are an important new fight in the war on drugs. As Sen. Sherrod Brown recently stated, “We need to get people into treatment, not put more people in prison for addiction.” That is why he introduced his Heroin and Drug Abuse Prescription and Recovery Act. With this bill, the senator hopes that more money will be diverted to open new detox centers in Ohio but he also urges communities to start these projects without waiting on the bills success or failure.
Some of the key provisions in the bill will create a grant program and funding to train first responders and members of the public to know how to respond to drug overdoses. The bill would also make Naloxone, also known as Narcan, more affordable and available to be used to revive overdose victims. It would create a National Youth Recovery Initiative to provide recovery services for college and high school students and also create a loan program to encourage students to enter the drug abuse health professional field.
Senator Portman’s bill, called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015, does cover some of the same provisions on Brown’s bill but also tries to expand treatment for jail and prison inmates and is backed by the National District Attorneys Association. On the Senate floor, Portman said, “Today we have, unfortunately, higher levels of death from overdoses, drug overdoses, than we do any other accidental cause of death. More than car accidents, for instance.”
Over 2,400 Ohioans died in 2014 from drug overdose and these two bills will go a long way to dealing with drug addiction. Even though both Senators have introduced competing bills, Brown recently told reporters during a press conference that there was a good chance that some features will be combined into one bill.
One important feature of both bills is that law enforcement agencies and first responders will be provided with a supply of Narcan which has been dubbed “The Miracle Drug” for its ability in reviving people after suffering from an overdose. Ohio, and the rest of America, seem to be finally coming to an understanding about drug addiction as a disease and not a crime. Politicians are now making smart, informed decisions about the care of these individuals and the overall impact drug abuse has on a community. By letting people with substance abuse problems seek rehab and not prison, we might finally see a reverse in this epidemic that has gone on for way too long