Johnson attended Friday’s meeting of the Scioto County Prescription Drug Action Team and said the problem is similar to other major issues confronting the area in that all of them would benefit from a holistic effort to “heal” the community.
Citing his training as an osteopathic physician, Johnson stressed that all the problems affecting Scioto County are inter-related and tend to worsen each other.
“That is why I stand with the working families of our area on Senate Bill 5,” Johnson said, “Without good jobs and hope for the future, people are more inclined to grow desperate and fall prey to drugs and other things in an attempt to forget their problems.”
Johnson said he will stand firm for all residents of the district and will not let the interests of any one group overcome his efforts to work for the benefit of all in the area.
“That is why I oppose the thought that eliminating collective bargaining for state employees will solve all our problems. I believe that management and labor working together is the key to success while weakening the position of our teachers, prison workers and others would only hurt the area,” Johnson said.
At the Drug Action Team meeting, Johnson provided a status update on House Bill 93, which he jointly sponsored with State Rep. David Burke, R-Marysville. He said the bill, which is aimed at excessive prescribers of prescription pain medication and what he referred to as “pill mills” throughout Ohio, has been reported on favorably by the House Committee on Health and Aging. A vote on the bill before the entire House is expected next week.
Gov. John Kasich has indicated that he will sign the bill into law when the legislature sends it to him. The House is expected to attach an emergency clause to the bill requiring immediate implementation, and the governor has indicated that he will approve the emergency designation for the bill.
After the meeting, Johnson stressed the importance of community involvement in fighting prescription drug abuse. “There is no way that any of us acting alone can solve this problem. It will require our best combined effort to make a difference,” Johnson said.
Johnson particularly praised the efforts of the group SOLACE (Surviving Our Loss and Continuing Everyday), made up of many who have lost family members to addiction. Johnson expressed his respect and admiration for the SOLACE group by describing them as, “being at the heart of the community effort.”