WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a record 2,110 fatal drug overdoses in Ohio in 2013 alone, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) commended both the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department for hosting a Heroin and Opiate Summit, held today at the University of Toledo.
“Too many communities in Ohio and across the country have been affected by the growing public health crisis caused by opioid use,” Brown said. “Drug addiction is a challenge that will require a collaborative multi-pronged solution with input by medical professionals, social service providers, law enforcement, and local, state, and federal governments. I commend the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Lucas County and the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department for organizing a forum where local experts and community members can come together to help fight drug addiction in Toledo.”
Brown continues his fight to help prevent and crack down on drug abuse. Brown is a cosponsor of The Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment (TREAT) Act, bipartisan legislation reintroduced in May to enable more health care providers to treat larger numbers of patients struggling with addiction. Federal law currently limits the capacity for providers to care for patients with opioid abuse problems using medication-assisted treatment.
Brown also cosponsored the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, bipartisan legislation that will help provide safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans. The legislation focuses on strengthening the VA opioid prescribing guidelines and improving pain management services. The Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act would also help strengthen patient advocacy, expand access to complementary and integrative health and wellness, and enhance VA hiring and internal audits. The bill is named for U.S. Marine Veteran Jason Simcakoski, who died at a Wisconsin VA facility in August 2013 as a result of mixed drug toxicity.