Ohio is among the top five states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2016, there were 3,613 opioid-related overdose deaths in Ohio—a rate of 32.9 deaths per 100,000 persons and more than double the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Since 2010, the rate has tripled from 10 deaths per 100,000. In the same period, the number of heroin-related deaths increased from 355 to 1,478 deaths, and deaths related to synthetic opioids rose from 175 to 2,296 deaths.
Governor Mike DeWine focused heavily on addressing the state’s opioid epidemic as Ohio Attorney General and it was the centerpiece of his successful campaign for Governor. Ohio House Bill 166, the DeWine Administration’s first, two-year operating budget aggressively creates opportunities for communities to address the opioid crisis by providing resources and support to continue to fight the Opioid epidemic and drug addiction.
Through the newly created RocoveryOhio, Governor DeWine is proposing spending an additional $200 million in new funds across a multitude of agencies to support efforts to fight drug addiction.
Some of the new funding includes:
$20 million to Ohio’s schools to provide new drug prevention curricula and professional development for school employees.
$12 million to expand the Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma program. This program helps local governments offer services to children who are traumatized dur to parental addiction.
Increased investment of more than $56 million for access to treatment. Including $22 million directly to County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Boards.
$5 million for 30 new specialized county drug courts.
$3.9 million for the Narcotics Intelligence Center (NIC), which is meant to provide intelligence sharing and high-tech data analytical tools to criminal investigations.
$8 million for a public awareness campaign about the dangers of drugs and to reduce the stigma around mental health and substance abuse disorders.
8 million per year in FY 20 and FY 21 to help local communities and law enforcement combat Ohio’s drug epidemic. Additionally, the proposal creates three new Cartel Trafficking Route Interdiction task forces in the Department of Public Safety. These task forces will be a partnership with local, state, and federal authorities to help disrupt the transport and sale of illicit drugs in Ohio.
Opioid funding and combating drug addiction continue to be a focus of the administration and the Ohio General Assembly. This area of the state operating budget will likely see many changes in the direction of funding and where the dollars are best spent.
You can find more information on Ohio’s budget by visiting these links: