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Government & Politics

Kasich's Opiate-Addiction Initiative Clears The Ohio Statehouse With Bipartisan Support

A photo of John Kasich
SB 319 addresses the ongoing drug epidemic in Ohio.

A recent report shows Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Now there are big changes coming with how Ohio deals with powerful painkillers and drug-addiction treatment.

Gov. John Kasich’s newly approved opiate addiction initiative requires pharmacy technicians to register and get background checks. It requires doctors, veterinarians and dentists who possess controlled substances to get a license from the state pharmacy board.

Republican Rep. Robert Sprague of Findlay says the bill also expands access to naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug, and caps how long a prescription supply can last.

“I think that this bill, at the end of the day, will be another arrow in the quiver as we begin to get a hold of the heroin in our state,” said Sprague.

The bill had strong bipartisan support. More than 3,000 Ohioans died of opioid overdoses last year, or an average of eight people each day.