During an interview recently taped for the PPT podcast series with Cover2 Resources based in Akron, Ohio, Senator Portman discussed his efforts to combat the heroin epidemic and provide relief to Ohioans suffering from the disease of addiction. Portman discussed how he first got involved in combating the drug epidemic and why it has become such a passion of his, how his bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), signed into law last year by President Obama, is working to support substance abuse programs such as those he visits all across Ohio. He also discussed his ongoing work in the United States Senate, such as urging his colleagues to act on the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, to help stop dangerous synthetic drugs from being shipped into the U.S. Portman urged everyone to get involved to help turn back the tide of addiction:
“Everybody’s got a role to play. I’ve focused more on prevention and education over the past 20 years, [but now we have] about 200,000 people in Ohio who are addicted to opioids. So we’ve also got to refocus efforts on what works and what doesn’t work in terms of treatment and recovery. The broad conclusion that we’ve reached through our research and through conferences we had in Washington that were the basis for CARA, is that longer term recovery services are badly needed. And it’s the first time that Congress has ever authorized any recovery funding. It’s the first time we’ve ever taken this on as an illness acknowledging that this is not based on poor decisions that someone made this is based on an addiction, which is an illness, which is–like other illnesses–something that requires treatment to be remedied. So, I think that’s the main thing: everybody has a role to play in making sure that their family that the information is out there, that there’s good awareness, prevention and education.”
You can listen to the full podcast here.
Cover2 Resources, which is dedicated to addiction education and awareness, was founded by Greg McNeil in memory of his son, Sam, who lost his life to a heroin overdose in 2015.