Drug Abuse and Treatment
In Ohio, we are under siege from a drug use and overdose epidemic, averaging five deaths per day. That is why I hold an annual Opiate Roundtable in the district, which brings together state and local officials as well as law enforcement, treatment experts and the medical community to discuss strategies to address this terrible epidemic.
We have also seen a record number of babies in the United States being born addicted to drugs. Here in Ohio, the rate of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) grew over 600 percent from 2004 to 2011. This is deplorable and I believe we need to do something to stop it.
That is why I joined Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA) to introduce the Protecting Our Infants Act. This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services to develop best practices for medical professionals dealing with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. I am proud that this bill was signed into law by the President on November 25, 2016.
I am also proud to be the lead cosponsor of H.R. 4599, the Reducing Unused Medications Act, which would allow prescriptions for opioid medications to be partially filled by pharmacists at the request of patients or doctors. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 70 percent of adults who misuse prescription opioids get them from friends or relatives. This legislation would reduce the number of unused painkillers.
Drug addiction is an issue that affects our families, communities, states and the nation. Please know that I am committed to the fight against drug addiction.