By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth Police Chief Charles Horner announced at Friday’s Scioto County Drug Action Team meeting that he had received an appointment to Gov. John Kasich’s Advisory Council on Drug and Alcohol Addiction Services.
Horner will be one of 12 voting members of a larger group from around Ohio discussing issues of drug and alcohol addiction. Horner said the council will work closely with the Office Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Service and its Director Orman Hall to make recommendations on the direction of efforts in addressing the epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse to Kasich.
“Having been a police officer for 28 years, 10 years commanding a drug task force, and 10 years as the chief of police, my primary focus has always been addressing the drug issues plaguing our community,” Horner said. “I believe my appointment comes as a result of the recognition of my understanding and law enforcement experience in the areas of prescription drug abuse and intractable pain treatment needs, activism in the area of drug addiction solutions, and having been personally touched by the epidemic of prescription drug abuse.”
Horner was a pioneer in the recognition of the prescription drug problem in the community, seeing the problem as early as the early 1980s.
“My first attempt to bring it to the attention of the federal government and state authorities was around ‘93, and that was Dr. (David) Proctor,” Horner said. What followed, Horner said, was a series of area physicians, including several in Kentucky, who began issuing prescriptions illegally.
“There’s a long history. We cried wolf a long time ago, it’s just that nobody would listen,” Horner said.
Once the Drug Action Team was formed, Horner and several law enforcement and medical community members began to fight back. Then, in 2011, Scioto County its nine pain clinics.
Horner says he considers it an honor and a highpoint of his career and he took the time to thank Kasich and Hall for the support and confidence they have shown in him.
“I would like to thank former Gov. Strickland for giving me the opportunity to serve on the Ohio Rx Opiate Drug Task Force and I would like to thank Attorney General Mike DeWine for his relentless efforts in addressing the prescription drug epidemic,” Horner said. “Unlike any time in my 28-year law enforcement career and over the past two years, I have witnessed new friendships and bipartisan partnerships, all joined for the common goal of saving our children and families from the epidemic of prescription drug abuse. To take the title and quote from a book written by John C. Maxwell, we have affirmed and demonstrated that ‘Teamwork Makes the Dream Work.’”
The appointment is for two years.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.