In Batavia, Senator Portman Meets with Clermont County’s Quick Response Team, Visits with Program Participant

August 18, 2021 | Press Releases

BATAVIA, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) met with Clermont County’s Quick Response Team (QRT), a group of law enforcement, first responders, and treatment professionals who work together to encourage individuals who have recently overdosed to explore treatment options. Clermont County’s QRT is a part of Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services. Portman also met with an individual who participated in the SOR program and as a result has successfully turned around her life and gives back to her community.

In 2019, the Clermont County ADAMHS received a State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant for $360,000. The SOR program, funded through the 21st Century CURES Acthas been used by states to increase access to naloxone and support access to long-term addiction treatment and recovery services. Portman championed the passage of the CURES Act and consistently works to increase the federal funding for the SOR program. 

“I had a productive meeting today with first responders and members of Clermont County’s QRT on how the opioid epidemic is impacting communities within their county,” said Portman. “I had the opportunity to see firsthand how the QRT is responding, and helping to save lives. This is a wonderful example of how community leaders are working together to find innovative solutions to address this crisis in meaningful ways. I will continue to work with local communities across Ohio to help ensure they have the support they need to continue their good work.” 

“It was an honor to have Senator Portman spend time with our Quick Response Team (QRT) and help bring attention to the work being done in Clermont County. The QRT project is the culmination of many agencies including, the county’s police, Fire/EMS, treatment providers, and the local mental health and recovery board. Our partners have worked very hard to be creative and meet our community members where they are, while ensuring they have access to resources in addiction treatment when they are ready,” said Heather Cokl, LPCC-S, Director of Addiction Services – Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services in Clermont County.

Senator Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to provide more resources to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic. Portman is the author of the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) that became law in 2016 and provides resources for evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs to help people overcome their addiction. Earlier this year, Portman introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 3.0 to increase the funding authorization levels for the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) programs enacted in 2016 and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, Portman’s Combating Meth & Cocaine Act was signed into law giving states more flexibility to use federal funding to address the resurgence of psychostimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine. In addition, Portman introduced the bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule illicitly manufactured and deadly fentanyl. In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order to schedule fentanyl-related substances, which has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to crack down on these substances more effectively. This scheduling order is set to expire on October 22, 2021. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances. 

Photos from the event are below: