Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:25AM - 360 Views
By - tallen@civitasmedia.com



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Ohio Governor John Kasich was in Portsmouth on Monday to meet with officials about how the struggle with prescription drug abuse is going and how the state can help. While in Portsmouth, Kasich signed an executive order allowing from broader treatment options and pledging $100,000 with the possibility of an addition $300,000 to allow for treatment of prescription drug abuse in Scioto County.
"We have what I would describe as a very emotional meeting here today. We have represented here some of the people who have been affected, people who have lost people, we have a person here who is a recovering addict. We have a lot of stories here and a lot of officials who have tragedy in their own family," Kasich said. "During the campaign I heard a lot about this problem; I came here right after the election and met with a tremendous group of people in this community. All the wanted was some help, all they wanted was some new tools so they could engage."
Kasich said when he left that first meeting, "I felt the devil was running ramped in this county."
Kasich believes Scioto County could be used as an example as to how to combat this issue throughout the state and beyond.
"Here they are engaging in a battle in which, most Ohioans don't even know the battle is ragging. It's real, it's taken a lot of people down and is destroying a lot of people and families," Kasich said.
"Today we are able to announce we are able to bring $100,000 dollars to Scioto County. We believe we will have $300,000 more dollars that we believe we can get a match. That entire $400,000 dollars will be put here," Kasich said. "Some people would say why here, why now. We need to have a very focused effort on the evil that lurks in this county."
Kasich quickly pointed out that to him failure is not an option in Scioto County.
"The recidivism on prescription drugs here (Scioto County) is ninety percent. So victory is in some ways relative. I'm going to sign an executive order that would allow the treatment folks to have additional drugs to use to treat people who are addicts," Kasich said.
State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) along with Dave Burke (R-Marysville) on Tuesday, February 8 introduced legislation in the Ohio House of Representatives that would call for the regulation of pain clinic's throughout Ohio.
The bill will be known as House Bill (HB) 93.
Kasich said there has been an emergency clause added to the bill to speed up the process.
"Today means that the governor is showing his support of his office for this problem that's plaguing this area. It's a wonderful thing to have so much attention but, what really counts is the people in the room," State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson said.
"The battles been engaged, but we have some reinforcements today. We have a partnership that goes from Columbus to a place that's all-to-often forgotten. We're not going to forget you," Kasich said. "We told you we would be back, were back in great force than before. Were going to stay at it. No one in this room that I'm aware of has turned water into wine. I would anticipate there would be some significant marches in this town, to drive the devil out of Scioto County."
Tom Reiser, Chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners said "if you take every problem we have in this county, and trace the problem to it's roots, the drug problem is there."
As a result of the funding announcement The Counseling Center will begin a new program for people who have not been able to access the proper treatment. "They will now be able to get that treatment. They will be able to get it at the level they need it," Ed Hughes, executive director of The Counseling Center said. "We had a dream (for such a program), but we did not have any funding. Now that we have funding it's going to be put into action."
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