Ohio Supreme Justice Maureen O’Connor Calls the Opioid Problem An Elephant and an Octopus

Sep 15, 2016

In her address, Chief Justice O'Connor advised judges to require drug tests for fentanyl.
Credit OHIO SUPREME COURT

Courts are getting hit hard by the state’s opioid epidemic, according to the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports that was just one point in her annual state of the judiciary speech.

Maureen O’Connor advised judges to require tests for the drug fentanyl and cautioned them that the opioid crisis isn’t limited to drug courts.

“From delinquency cases in juvenile courts to allocating parental rights in domestic relations courts to traffic issues that you may have. All that to say that the opioid problem is an elephant and an octopus. It’s hard to know where to start, but we must start somewhere.

“Basic opioid testing may not reveal the breadth of a person’s abuse. Without additional screening, a person could be using yet remain off the radar. This could happen even while they are under involvement with the drug courts.”

O’Connor also noted concerns about court costs, saying that courts should not be “ATMs for City Councils,” nor mandated to self-fund from fines and fees. And she also pointed voters to judicialvotescount.org, a site featuring all judicial candidates this year.