• 64°

Ohio prescription plan saving lives

Imagine the national outrage if 47,055 Americans … died from terrorist attacks in one year…

That’s how many Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014…

More than half of those deaths involved opioids, a class of drugs including legal pain killers and heroin. Ohio recorded 2,482 overdose deaths that year, including 23 in Licking County, based on preliminary numbers…

President Barack Obama rejoined the debate recently, announcing a wide range of efforts focusing on far more than just the criminal aspects of substance abuse, including expanded treatment efforts and ensuring health coverage for substance abuse and mental health are sufficient.

While we welcome the president’s renewed efforts and focus on the role mental health plays in addiction, we fear the new plan is insufficient given the explosive growth of heroin addiction alone…

One place the president would be smart to look at for ideas is Ohio, which has made measurable progress in controlling legal drugs in recent years despite the state’s death count rising.

Prescriptions for painkillers dropped 12 percent last year, while doctor shopping fell 71 percent thanks to a computerized reporting system designed to stop people from getting multiple painkiller prescriptions…

Imagine how many more would have died or progressed to illegal drugs without these steps and aggressive use of drugs that can reverse overdoses…

 

The (Newark) Advocate