COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – With new regulations and programs the way prescription drugs are prescribed is changing.
But people are still dying from fatal doses laced with fentanyl and carfentanyl.
Tuesday, 2 NEWS Anchor Brooke Moore talked exclusively with Governor John Kasich about the heroin epidemic.
Montgomery County the epicenter of some of highest number of opioid overdose deaths in the country. But Governor Kasich says there are statistics that show we’re making progress.
Kasich said, “We have tough restrictions on people who prescribe – we’ve seen results. We have treatment, which is part of the reason I expanded Medicaid. Those are the things I think are most effective.”
Steep cuts to Medicaid were one of the biggest criticisms of the Graham Cassidy Bill – part of the GOP efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Here in Ohio, Governor Kasich says it would affect 700,000 people who are battling drug addiction or mental illness.
“But what we don’t want to do is start cutting people off, because, say someone has an addiction or a mental health problem. What are they supposed to do? Go to a building and then there’s a sign on the door where they used to get treated and it says, ‘I’m sorry, we’re closed, we have no money.'”
Kasich says the number of intentional opiate deaths have hit a six-year low.
“It just is a problem that morphs all the time. Why Ohio? Well, we’re the heart of it all. People can ship things through this state. We’re seeing less quantity being shipped because our law enforcement has made so many busts and the cartel is beginning to wake up to that.”
With no way of telling whether a batch is laced with fentanyl or carfentanyl, Governor Kasich says the focus needs to be on education and prevention.
“For those who go to these Friday night football games why don’t we have someone go to the center of the field before kick-off and tell everyone in the stands the dangers of drugs and just a short message about their families and their kids,” said Kasich. “You see, this is a problem that is not only going to be solved from the top down but it’s a problem that also has to be solved from the bottom up.”
You can watch the full interview with Governor Kasich here.