House bill

What is House Bill 296? How would it present overdose deaths?

Every month we resuscitate someone in our hall who is literally dying of a drug overdose. Without interruption, this process can lead to death.

Our team, like many first responders, has access to a drug called naloxone, which blocks the effect of opiates on the brain and ultimately reverses the overdose.

Every overdose averted with naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a life saved and a chance for recovery.

This is why the management team of maryhaven strongly supports Senate Bill 296. This bill will save lives by making fentanyl test strips and naloxone more widely available.

Senator Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville

Research tells us that harm reduction strategies significantly reduce overdose deaths. On the front lines of the opioid epidemic, we need all life-saving measures available.

Senate Bill 296presented by senators Nathan Manning (D-North Ridgeville) and Senate Speaker Matt Huffman (R-Lima)builds on a history of best practices.

Legislation enacted in Ohio in 2015 allowed pharmacists to dispense naloxone without a prescription.

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As noted, our team can speak personally about the effectiveness of naloxone, both with our customers and as an active partner with the Ohio Department of Health. Dawn Project effort, where we can provide free naloxone kits to the community.

Many, many people have gone through treatment with us because naloxone kept them alive. And it’s a statewide reality. Researchers at University of Cincinnati found that the statewide overdose death rate dropped by 14% after the 2015 law was passed, while pharmacists increased the number of naloxone kits on the street by 2,328%.

The largest increases in availability have occurred in communities with high rates of poverty and unemployment.

Adam Rowan is the interim CEO of Maryhaven, a drug, alcohol and gambling treatment provider. He has served as the agency's chief executive since 2018.

Some fear that more naloxone on the street will encourage people to use it. Fortunately, this myth has been completely shattered by a study published in October 2021 by Ohio State and Purdue universities. They documented that all Americans, including active drug addicts, are aware of the risks of heroin. People’s assessment of this risk did not change knowing that naloxone was available. However, it can be a way to reassure friends and family that they could save the life of a loved one.

Harm reduction strategies can work. For example, needle access programs, commonly referred to as needle exchange programs, aim to reduce cases of hepatitis B and C and HIV among people who use or share needles to inject HIV. heroin or other substances. Not only do these programs mitigate adverse health effects, they more profitable and associated with greater involvement Processing.

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Senate President Matt Huffman poses for a photo inside the Senate at the Ohio Statehouse on April 5, 2022.

Experts from the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health say that every dollar invested in syringe access programs saves at least $6 in averted costs for HIV alone. Syringe access programs have now garnered bipartisan support, including moving former Vice President Mike Pence from opposition to approval.

Decriminalizing fentanyl test strips will also save lives and money. Until 100 times more powerful Like morphine, fentanyl is now often smuggled into drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, counterfeit prescription drugs and heroin.

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Many people who use it are unaware that fentanyl is present. If they overdose, death descends quickly and powerfully. Our staff sometimes have to use up to three, four or even five naloxone kits to resuscitate a client.

Two forms of Naloxone, a nasal spray and an intramuscular injection, are shown.

Fentanyl contributed to nearly two-thirds of all overdose deaths between May 2020 and April 2021. Centers for Disease Control concluded that fentanyl deaths soared, climbing 33% in the Midwest.

These facts have prompted states like Arizona, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and West Virginia to legalize rapid home fentanyl tests. Last year, the CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced that any entity that received federal grants from their agencies could use these funds for fentanyl test kits.

Maryhaven staff expect to make a significant difference by sharing fentanyl test strips with customers. But because Ohio law currently labels these kits as drug paraphernalia, offering the kits now puts people at high risk of arrest and prosecution. Changing Ohio’s statutes is recognizing that in the battle against opioid addiction, we need every tool at our disposal.

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Relapse happens, even for people who eventually recover in the long term. Our team at Maryhaven mourns every customer lost to overdose. We can’t bring them back, but we can celebrate every person who lives to enter treatment.

Senate Bill 296 will keep people alive for another day. And one more day could be the day someone starts a whole new life. We strongly support Senate Bill 296.

Adam Rowan is the interim CEO of Maryhaven, a drug, alcohol and gambling treatment provider. He has served as the agency’s chief executive since 2018.