Ohio AG Mike DeWine releases plan to fight opioid epidemic

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine unveiled his plan on Monday to fight the country and state's opioid epidemic.

The plan, called Recovery Ohio, consists of 12 initiatives to increase treatment and prevention, as well as provide new tools to law enforcement.

The plan breaks down as follows, according to a news release issued by DeWine's office:

• NUMBER 1:  Pass legislation to give the Governor the ability to declare a public health emergency statewide or in specific areas, which would allow for the distribution of money and other resources to local entities that are facing unexpected emergency conditions like overdose spikes, and creating an accelerated process for state licenses or approvals in critical professions such as the medical or social work fields as well as expedited licensing reciprocity with other states.  
• NUMBER 2:  Create a 21st century law enforcement data infrastructure that allows real-time, statewide data sharing and brings state-of-the-art data analytics and crime prediction to every Ohio law enforcement agency.
• NUMBER 3:  Expand proven drug task force models that specifically target and disrupt the flow of money and drugs from Mexican drug cartels.
• NUMBER 4:  Create at least 60 more specialized drug courts.
• NUMBER 5:  Double the substance use treatment capacity in Ohio.
• NUMBER 6:  Expand workforce of critical specialists.
• NUMBER 7:  Empower employers to help employees with substance use disorder to seek treatment while remaining employed. 
• NUMBER 8:   Help business owners hire employees in recovery by offering employers incentives and reducing risks.
• NUMBER 9:  Create a special position reporting directly to the Governor with Cabinet-level authority, who works every day with the single-minded focus of fighting the opioid epidemic.
• NUMBER 10:  Implement proven Kindergarten-12th grade drug prevention education in all Ohio schools.
• NUMBER 11:  Roll out a statewide drug prevention media campaign
• NUMBER 12:  Expanded early intervention programs that target Ohio families and children in foster care.

DeWine wants drug companies to pay for the plan. In May, DeWine filed suit against five drug companies and has given them 30 days to begin settlements.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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