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Government & Politics

Ohio's U.S. Senators Hope to Add Pressure on Washington to Address the Opiate Crisis

Picture of Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown
KEVIN NIEDERMIER
/
WKSU

Ohio's Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says the federal government has failed to adequately fund treatment for the opiate epidemic. And he hopes a Senate hearing held in Cleveland today will help change that.

The hearing sponsored by Brown and Republican Ohio Sen.Rob Portman brought together medical and law enforcement officials to discuss what’s being done to fight the opiate epidemic, and what is needed to do a better job.

Brown says hearings like this one, and others across the country, should add pressure on Congress to boost funding for programs "so communities all over the state, small towns, big cities, can scale up what they need to. And second it builds up the public record.

"The fact that this is an official hearing, with an official committee with real witnesses and the kind of recording of testimony will help also build that record to show we have to get serious about the funding to scale this up.”

Portman co-authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act,which he says will help coordinate and bolster state and local opiate prevention and treatment efforts through funding and best practices.  It passed the Senate and is awaiting passage in the House. Portman believes hearings like this can help push the bill through.