“My No. 1 priority as attorney general is to protect Ohio families,” DeWine wrote in his letter. “Fighting prescription drug abuse is part of that mission. But, this epidemic is too big for any one entity to fight alone. That is why we have banded together at all levels of the state and with the private sector to help rid our cities and villages of this deadly scourge.”
DeWine, who was in Portsmouth recently to tour the maternity department at Southern Ohio Medical Center also wrote in the letter, “There is something wrong in Ohio when seven percent of the babies born in Scioto County are addicted to drugs. We must be relentless in this fight and I am pleased to be working with Scioto County officials to continue our collective efforts to fight this plague.”
Weeks before City Council passed the legislation, Portsmouth City Solicitor Mike Jones, while telling Council he was in favor of the legislation, warned of possible legal action that could involve the city if the ordinance was passed.
“I’m glad he (DeWine) supports the ordinance,” Portsmouth City Council President John Haas said. “And I hope he will help us with the fight when it is challenged. Constitutionally, I hope the attorney general will step in and help us out with that.”
When DeWine was at SOMC, he told the media, “It cuts across all economic bounds. It is not a middle-class problem. It cuts all over the place geographically. The numbers I find to be quite staggering at this facility .... but this facility is doing an absolute bang-up job. They are dealing with a problem in society that is not of their making. “