Today Gov. John R. Kasich announced $36 million in new funds to help Ohioans addicted to prescription drugs get the treatment they need so they can get back into the workforce. Kasich made the announcement today at a prescription drug abuse summit of drug addiction, health care and criminal justice professionals.
"Prescription drug abuse and addiction is an epidemic that I've taken head on. It's killing people, killing families and killing communities. Corrupt doctors are preying on people and too many people are looking the other way. We're going to bring it to an end and I've taken a number steps to crack down on this crime. We also need to help those who've fallen into the grips of addiction so they can get treatment and get back to work, and that's what these funds do. I'm proud of the ADAMH boards for joining with RSC to think creatively to make something big happen. This is a good day for treatment. We're bringing more hope to people who need it," said Kasich.
The $36 million in new drug treatment and work readiness funds are the result of a new partnership between the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, the Rehabilitative Services Commission (RSC), Ohio Department of Mental Health, and Ohio's County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services Boards. With $9 million from Ohio's ADAMH Boards, RSC was able to receive $27 million in matching federal dollars.
Kasich also announced the creation of Opiate Task Forces in 23 counties. Modeled after pilot Task Forces in Fairfield and Scioto Counties, the new Opiate Task Forces will benefit from a combination of organizations and resources marshaled to provide education and prevention to end the use of opiates as a drug of abuse.
Leading the effort to build a Learning Collaborative so that Ohio's Task Forces can learn from each other is the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities (OACBHA). OACBHA CEO Cheri L. Walter said, "Everyone needs to feel a sense of accomplishment to believe they are successful in life, and for many this sense of achievement comes from meaningful employment. This opportunity for ADAMH Boards to partner with ODADAS, ODMH, and the Rehabilitation Services Commission to establish the Recovery to Work program will help people who need treatment to recover and return to the workforce, thus becoming healthy and productive Ohioans."
Also integral to providing supportive services is the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (GOFBCI), which is facilitating adult mentoring and family stability services for those in
need of them. Cardinal Health has stepped forward as a business partner to offer grant support to the statewide effort.
George Barrett, chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health, added, "Cardinal Health believes in giving back to the communities where its employees live and work, especially in our home state of Ohio. We are committed to supporting health care workers, social service agencies, non-profit organizations and other concerned citizens in Ohio to work together to protect families and communities from the pain, loss and devastation caused by prescription drug abuse."
If you or a love one needs help, contact Ohio's toll-free HELPLINE at 1-800-788-7254 or visit www.ada.ohio.gov to learn about local treatment options.