U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown was in New Boston Wednesday for an addiction treatment and recovery roundtable at Stepping Stones of New Boston. The roundtable featured a number of representatives from around the community including medical doctors, faith leaders, elected officials and many more.
The primary topic of the roundtable was addiction and what’s being done locally to address the issue.
“This is an ongoing problem (and) we need a federal, state (and) local partnership. The federal government has made some progress or talked a good game,” Brown said.
He said the federal or state governments have not provided the funding needed to address the issue.
“When you sit around this table and you see people that know how to deal with addiction treatment and can do it. We’ve got to help them with some funding so they can scale it up and take care of more people, more pregnant women, more teenagers and more adults that have addiction that need treatment and want treatment,” Brown said.
When asked what he was going to take away from the experience Brown said, “The discussion about how important it is that we focus on young teens and people that are getting addicted at the age of 12 and 15, 16. When that happens you wonder about the future of them and the next generation.”
According to information released from Bown’s office, he recently introduced the Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Reduction Act.
The act if approved will provide for a number of things aimed at equipping communities throughout the country with necessary tools for their addicted population.
Brown’s office provided a breakdown of everything inside the bill including measures aimed at preventing addiction by implementing regular training for health care professionals who prescribe opioids to improve their ability to diagnose addiction. Also, creating a grant program to improve tracking and reporting of fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses.
The act has provisions aimed at providing funding to train first responders, doctors, pharmacists and others to respond quickly in the event of an overdose.
Other provisions of the act include expanding access to treatment as well as an avenue to provide life-long support for recovery.
According to the act description provided by Brown’s office, the life-long support for recovery includes, creating a national youth recovery initiative by establishing a grant program for accredited recovery high schools and institutions of higher education. The provision would also call for the expansion of recovery support services through mentorship, peer support, community education and outreach including naloxone training.
When asked what the answer is to properly addressing the issues surrounding addiction Brown said, “The answer is the federal government, the state government do it’s job. There are a lot of politicians that want to give tax cuts to rich people instead of taking those federal dollars and partner with local communities do what they know how to do and solve problems locally.”
For more information about the Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Reduction Act visit www.brown.senate.gov.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneallenPDT on Twitter