The State of Ohio, and in particular, Scioto County, has seen a phenomenal growth in the number of prescription painkiller doses prescribed according to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. This 900 percent increase over the past decade has a direct link to the number of overdose deaths we are seeing as a state and in the local community.
Four people die every day as a result of drug overdoses in Ohio. Opiates are culpable in nearly half of those deaths. Ohio House Bill 93 was designed to protect Ohioans by monitoring and restricting the ability of unscrupulous health care practitioners to dispense and/or prescribe opiate-based pain medications that have a clear link to addiction.
While this legislation aims to shut down the so-called “pill mills” that have been fueling Ohio’s opiate epidemic, it does not seek to penalize Ohioans who suffer from legitimate medical conditions. We want Ohioans to get the help they need. In fact, when taken as prescribed, prescription opiates can be an effective part of a legitimate care plan.
But chronic use, intentional misuse and/or abuse of opioids can result in physical dependence, addiction or even death. Given the potential for addiction, we feel very strongly that opiate use should be carefully managed by a certified pain physician.
We encourage Ohioans to make sure they are receiving the best possible pain care by seeing a certified pain management physician. Ohioans with an addiction disorder need treatment to become healthy again; they do not need a seemingly legal drug pusher feeding their addictions and putting their lives in danger.
Orman Hall, director Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, can be reached at 614-752-8359, or by writing to 280 N. High St., 12th floor, Columbus, OH 43215