Ohio Governor Ted Strickland today (September 30) received the Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force's (OPDATF) final report, which includes 20 recommendations for the Governor and leaders of the General Assembly to consider.
"I want to thank the Task Force for its collaborative, thoughtful approach to addressing this epidemic." said the Governor. We will move quickly to work with the legislature to adopt recommendations that will help combat prescription drug abuse, including implementing standards for pain management clinics, working with providers to improve the use of the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, establishing and supporting local coalitions, and exploring ways to support critical drug and alcohol treatment services for Ohioans."
Three Ohio Osteopathic Association members and staff participated in the Task Force's six months of deliberations. Cleanne Cass, DO, of Dayton, was the OOA official representive and also served as Vice Chair of the Treatment Work Group, while Aaron Adams, DO, Scioto County Health Commissioner, represented the state's public health officials and served as Chair of the Public Health Work Group. OOA Executive Director served as an alternate for Dr. Cass and also participated in Regulatory Work Group discussions.
The Task Force recognized that solutions to the problem require a multifaceted and comprehensive, approach, so the 20 recommendations address issues related to treatment, law enforcement, public health and regulation. Recommendations include legislative reform, increased funding and education, facilitating proper disposal of prescription medication, as well as establishing new and supporting existing coalitions to address the prevention of prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose.
"We commend the Governor for bringing together a wide spectrum of stake holders to address drug diversion and the growing number of deaths from prescription drug abuse," said OOA President Schield M. Wikas, DO. "We will continue to work with the administration and the Ohio General Assembly to do whatever is necessary to save Ohio lives. On the other hand, we must be careful not to drive pain patients into drug seeking behavior by enacting overly restrictive rules and regulations that could restrict access to chronic pain treatment and discourage primary care physicians from taking care of chronic pain patients."
Click here to see a copy of the OPDATF Final Report.