TOLEDO, OH – In Toledo today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Ohio law enforcement and an addiction treatment provider after securing major funding to combat the opioid epidemic in Ohio.
“For too long, Ohio communities have been desperate for the federal government to step up and provide the necessary resources to effectively combat the opioid epidemic,” said Brown. “While we know there is more work to be done, this funding is a meaningful step forward for Ohio. By investing in local communities and supporting law enforcement through the INTERDICT Act, we can better address the opioid crisis in our state.”
“At Zepf, we are on the front lines battling the opioid and fentanyl epidemic on a daily basis. We see the real life first hand effects on individuals, their children and their families...and it’s devastating,” said Deb Flores, acting CEO of the Zepf Center.
Brown ensured the spending bill signed into law last week included measures to address the opioid crisis in Ohio, including:
Brown was joined at the news conference by Toledo Police Chief George Kral, Cleveland Area Port Director of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Marc Hurteau, and Deb Flores, Acting CEO of the Zepf Center.
Brown originally announced $6 billion in opioid funding as part of the long-term spending agreement Congress reached earlier this year. The spending package Congress passed last week allocated the first $3 billion of that money. At Brown’s urging, the package specifically prioritizes the hardest-hit states, like Ohio.
How does it work?
The omnibus funding is in addition to the $27 million in grant funding Ohio is expected to receive this year from the 21st Century Cures Act, which Brown supported.
The spending package also authorizes funding for opioid detection devices outlined in Brown’s INTERDICT Act, which President Trump signed into law this year, to provide new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for 24x7 lab support. The money will be used to:
Several state and national law enforcement organizations, including the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, have endorsed the INTERDICT Act. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also supported Brown’s bill and Brown is supporting Portman’s STOP Act, which is also endorsed by law enforcement. The two bills work together to help block the deadly drugs from reaching Ohio communities.