Taking needed steps

Published 7:38 am Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Ohio remains mired in the opioid crisis and local, state and federals are working to combat it.

One of the newest efforts comes from U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, who is proposing legislation dealing with over-the-counter medications.

Johnson has reintroduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act, legislation focused on the drug dextromethorphan, an opioid.

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Johnson said the drug is present in a number of commonly-available cold medications and consumption of it has been an issue with teenagers, who become addicted.

A 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse study found that 1 in 30 teens admitted to abusing DXM.

Co-sponsored with U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Hawaii, Johnson said his bipartisan legislation would set a mandatory minimum age of 18 for purchase of medications containing DXM.

Johnson is also planning to introduce the TEACH to Combat Addiction Act, which would focus on pain treatment.

He said the bill would provide funding to institutions that train health care providers on how to manage pain and would be aimed at the dangers of overprescribing opioids.

Every step will help to curtail opioid abuse and we commend Johnson for introducing these two bills, which target areas that need attention.