COLUMBUS—State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) applauded the nearly $56 million in funding approved Monday by the Ohio Controlling Board to combat the opioid epidemic.
The State Opioid Response (SOR) Grant, implemented by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) and awarded by the federal government, supplements the more than $180 million in new money appropriated through 2017’s state operating budget, initiated by the Ohio House and supported by Hill, to aggressively respond to drug addiction in the state.
According to documents from MHAS, the Ohio SOR plan will:
- Expand prevention efforts related to naloxone distribution
- Provide improved training to professionals responding to the opioid epidemic
- Deploy targeted awareness messaging in Ohio communities
- Expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Expand the use of certified peer supporters and access to recovery housing, particularly for families
- Develop employment opportunities for people in recovery
“The SOR Grant will be a great supplement to our current efforts to fight the opioid epidemic,” said Hill. “But we still have a lot of work that needs to be done to help those already addicted and prevent future addicts.”
Projections submitted to the board estimate that treatment and recovery support services would be provided to 9,000 addicted individuals, a total of 18,000 people over the span of the 2-year project.