Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) hosted a roundtable discussion on the opioid and heroin epidemic in Dayton Friday.
Turner and Portman were joined by Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, first responders, drug addiction and treatment stakeholders, and other community leaders to discuss ways in which the federal government can better partner with state and local practices to combat this epidemic that has devastated southwest Ohio.
“The opioid epidemic is a crisis that continues to take a toll on our communities here in Ohio and across the country. I continue to work with those in our community who work to end this epidemic each day to identify ways we can provide them the resources needed to end this fight,” said Congressman Turner. “I would like to thank Senator Portman and Sheriff Plummer for their work to make sure our first responders and law enforcement are able meet the epidemic head on. Today’s discussion has placed us one step closer to working toward effective solutions that we can implement in our community and help those who battle this addiction every day.”
“I want to thank Sheriff Plummer, our first responders, and all those on the front lines of this epidemic for your daily fight against this addiction epidemic,” said Senator Portman. “We’re facing a national crisis, but the battle against this rising tide of addiction won’t be won in Washington; it’ll be won in local communities like Dayton. But Washington can be a better partner with them and make sure they have the tools and the resources needed to win this battle, and that’s why CARA’s comprehensive approach is so important. I recently worked to secure $37 million in new funding to help get CARA’s grant programs up and running as quickly as possible, and I will continue to partner with community leaders in Dayton to make a difference for the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who’ve been impacted by this disease.”
Congressman Turner has been working with the community to draft legislation to help those who have been affected by the opioid epidemic starting with children born addicted to heroin and working to ensure those who are incarcerated for opioid abuse receive the treatment they need to recover.
Congressman Turner has been fighting the opioid epidemic in Dayton since 2013:
· December 18, 2013: Toured Soin Medical Center, where issue of Heroin-Exposed Newborns was raised.
· March 10, 2014: Met with area hospitals to discuss the growing issue of Heroin-Exposed Newborns.
· May 15, 2014: Visited Dayton Children’s Hospital NICU to discuss infant heroin exposure and the withdrawal and recovery process.
· June 30, 2014: Held a Community Forum on the Effects of the Heroin Epidemic on Newborns.
· August 27, 2014: Visited the Women’s Recovery Center.
· May 2015: Held Community Summit on Heroin-Exposed Infants.
· August 21, 2015: Toured Greene County Jail and Green Leaf Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program; met with criminal justice system administrators and substance abuse and mental health leadership.
· November 18, 2015: Met with ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli and introduced the TREAT Act with Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (MA-3).
· May 12, 2016: The House passed an amendment he cosponsored to increase access to treatment for pregnant women struggling with substance abuse.
· May 25, 2016: Introduced CRIB Act to help expand access to specialized treatment and recovery options for infants suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a withdrawal condition in newborns often caused by use of opioids and other addictive substances in pregnant women.