Portman’s fight against drugs must continue

As the drug epidemic gripping Ohio continues, voters should consider Sen. Rob Portman’s work to battle illegal drugs in Ohio and his efforts to establish a foundation to improve treatment for those addicted to drugs as well.

Marietta and Washington County certainly are not immune. We have seen the number of overdoses – and deaths due to overdoses – grow steadily while local resources to treat addictions have failed to keep pace. But Portman has taken steps to address that disparity.

Since his election in 2010, Portman has reportedly been involved in many anti-drug efforts, such as the Drug Free Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act. But it is his work most recently on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act that is most noteworthy, and one reason we think voters should return Portman to office to continue this fight.

This bi-partisan bill in part awards grants to fight opioid and heroin use, including but not limited to, prevention and treatment. Known as CARA, the bill provides grants and improves access to opioid overdose reversal medication and helps to expand medication assisted treatment for addiction recovery.

Portman’s critics have said that while he has done work to establish laws needed to address illegal drug use and help for addicts, he has done less to provide resources to see those initiatives carried out. We urge Portman to see his efforts through, and that includes funding, in order to see real change occur.

Drug addiction is everywhere in Ohio and there is likely no other public health concern that affects so many people regardless of race or economic status. We need a senator who has made fighting this epidemic a priority and is committed to seeing this through. Return Portman to office so he can do just that.