As part of his push to fight the rampant prescription drug abuse spreading across Ohio, today Gov. John R. Kasich signed House Bill 93 (Burke, Johnson). The legislation, which received unanimous support from the Ohio General Assembly, will strengthen the state's ability to shut down "pill mill" operations led by corrupt doctors who dispense lethal doses of pain medications to anyone with a few hundred dollars.
"If you overprescribe, we're going to come get you. This is about our children. It's about our mothers and fathers. It's really about Ohio families," said Kasich during today's press conference. "These doctors are fantastic people but some of them are abusing their profession and it is critical that the medical board maintain the integrity of the profession. So really the message is, if you're out there breaking the law, you may get away with it for a while but these professionals, they're gonna come get you."
Joining Gov. Kasich for Friday's bill signing were bill sponsors Reps. David Burke and Terry Johnson, Sen. Jimmy Stewart, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) Director Orman Hall, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Administrator Steve Buehrer, former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery, local law enforcement officials, and members of SOLACE -- a support group for those who have lost loved ones to prescription drug abuse.
Passage of HB 93 is just one flank of a multi-pronged battle to end the prescription drug abuse epidemic that has shattered the lives of Ohioans across the state from the Ohio River to the shores of Lake Erie. Gov. Kasich first launched the fight against prescription drug abuse in February when he visited Scioto County to announce the formation of a statewide task force led by ODADAS Director Orman Hall and former Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery. In April, Gov. Kasich announced that through local, state and federal cooperation, $36 million would be available for drug treatment and prevention throughout the state.