“Why didn’t we do this for the opioid epidemic?” Dye said.
That rate of overdose deaths has generally continued to rise. In Ohio, 2020 passed 2017 as the highest year for unintentional drug overdose deaths with 5,017 deaths, according to the Ohio Department of Health. This was a 3% increase over 2017 and a 25% increase over 2019.
Nationally, provisional data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics estimate that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. surpass 100,000 deaths annually.
“We were making great progress only a few years ago before COVID hit and it was because we were doing more prevention, more treatment, more recovery,” Portman said. Now, overdoses have been back on the rise due to challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Portman emphasized addressing both the demand for illegal substances by getting people involved in treatment, as well as discussed how drugs are coming into the country.
OneFifteen received almost $1.1 million in federal funding through the CARES Act. On Friday, Portman and other officials showed support for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act 3.0. This is the third version of funding — the first of which was passed in July 2016.