Latta Focuses on State Efforts to Combat Substance Abuse & the Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH5) joined the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to further examine the state efforts underway to curb the opioid crisis and to shine a spotlight on the importance of legislation Latta authored, the Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl and Opioids (INFO) Act. The INFO Act was a core part of H.R.6, the SUPPORT Act, that was signed into law 2018.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, in 2017, prescription opioid overdose deaths fell in Ohio by almost 28% since 2011, but overdose rates are still high. Prescription opioid-related overdose deaths accounted for 523 of Ohio’s total 4,854 unintentional overdose deaths in 2017, compared to 564 of 4,050 total deaths in 2016 – which was the highest in the nation at the time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug related overdose deaths involving opioids in the country in 2017.

“Although there has been increased focus to combat the heroin and opioid crisis over the past few years, we are still losing over 10 Ohioans every single day to substance abuse. This crisis deserves our continued attention until lives are no longer lost because one life lost to substance abuse is one too many.” said Latta. “Last Congress, I authored the INFO Act in order to create a one-stop-shop dashboard to help states learn about the various substance use disorder funding opportunities available across the federal government so they can better serve the people in their communities who are struggling with substance abuse. A record amount of resources are being made available to prevent addiction, provide treatment, and combat this crisis, but we need to ensure that communities, like those in Northwest and West Central Ohio, can access these funds.”