Of the 2,500 people who died of unintentional drug overdoses in Ohio in 2014, 400 of those occurred in Ohio’s Second District, which includes portions of Scioto County. Prescription opioids were involved in nearly half of those cases. In announcing those statistics, U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup says he and the House of Representatives are stepping up efforts to combat unintentional drug overdoses.
“This week, I’m proud to join fellow members in the People’s House to battle the deadly drug epidemic on several fronts,” Wenstrup said. “Educating health care professionals on best practices for prescribing opioids; increasing treatment options for addicts; equipping our first responders with life-saving medication and cracking down on transnational drug trafficking, and more. Alongside action from our local communities, these bills will help give people the confidence and resources they need to get back on their feet and turn their lives around.”
In a video released by his office, Wenstrup told the story of a Cincinnati firefighter, Alec Schiering, who, at the age of 21, broke his back in the line of duty.
Following the doctor’s orders, Alec began taking high doses of prescription opioids to ease the pain during his recovery. But like so many, Alec became addicted to these pills, and once the prescription ran out, turned to heroin to fill his craving,” Wenstrup said. “Thankfully, Alec took advantage of a second chance. After a six-month stint in jail, coupled with a 12-step rehabilitation program, he was able to rebuild and reclaim his life. Alec’s been sober for the last four years, and he’s now involved with ‘Not One More,’ an organization dedicated to raising awareness about drug addiction and preventing further abuse.”
Wenstrup said for many across the country, however, that second chance never comes, which is why he has thrown his support behind the programs deemed necessary to fight the addiction battle.
“Addiction destroys lives,” Wenstrup said. “But with the right tools and the right approach, we just might be able to save our communities.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.