The opioid overdose epidemic in Ohio is a crisis. In Dayton, as in other communities across the state, we’ve been hit hard. In 2017 alone, Montgomery County has had 150 deaths from opioid overdoses, a devastating number for a community our size.
But instead of finding real solutions to Ohio’s opioid epidemic, politicians in Columbus are trying to cover a bullet hole with a Band-Aid.
Governor Kasich recently proposed to earmark only $20 million for research on combating opioid abuse — while spending 150 times as much ($3.1 billion) on tax cuts for the wealthy. These numbers tell you exactly where Republicans’ priorities lie — and it’s not with communities that are suffering.
Here in Dayton, we haven’t turned a blind eye to the overdose epidemic. We declared a state of emergency to allow us to institute a needle exchange program and cut down on infection. We worked to make sure Dayton’s first responders are equipped with life-saving Nalaxone. And at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I led an effort to pass a resolution to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for the damage they’ve wrought.