Too many of us in Ohio know the pain of seeing a loved one struggle with addiction — and the opioid crisis has hit many communities in the 15th Congressional District especially hard. While Ohio families have been working to make ends meet, afford healthcare, or recover from addiction, pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists have raked in record profits pushing painkillers and sought billion-dollar tax deductions from opioid settlements for the damage done to an entire generation of Ohioans. As a Member of Congress, I will demand full accountability and reinvestment in treatment services from the bad corporate actors who poisoned our communities.
We can also ensure our loved ones have access to healthcare, the chance to receive treatment, and a safeguard against lethal overdose so our families can get and stay well. In Congress, I will work to fund addiction prevention efforts that are focused on early intervention; expand addiction and mental health treatment resources; improve access to medication-assisted treatment; address gaps in Ohio’s foster and kinship care systems; and target economic opportunity in our hardest-hit communities.
We also must give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to take on this crisis and stop the flow of illicit drugs from China and Mexico. I’m proud that Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman came together to help pass a bill that gives law enforcement the equipment to intercept opioids and synthetics before they cross our borders and ports of entry. Now we need to pass the POWER Act to replicate those efforts right here in Ohio. The bill would give local law enforcement officers access to the same fentanyl detection equipment to help them keep these drugs out of our communities and off our streets.