Bill looks to provide access to medication for addiction

DAYTON, Ohio — State research shows Ohio’s death rate from opioid overdoses hit a 10-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a reason some are looking to make it easier to help addicts.

What You Need To Know

  • Rep. Mike Turner announced details of the Mainstream Addiction and Treatment Act
  • It’s a bill that would allow practitioners to prescribe Buprenorphine without a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Buprenorphine is a prescription drug that helps treat pain and addiction to opioids
  • The bill has been passed by the House of Representatives and waiting to be voted on by the Senate

Liz Korsog has been in recovery for about 22 months, but the journey has not been easy. The first time she tried to get clean, she ended up relapsing.

“This time I did it for myself and I’m working a program and just continued to do the next right thing and it’s been working out for me,” said Korsog.

While in recovery, she received treatment at One Fifteen, at an alcohol and abuse rehab center. During her time there, she took Buprenorphine, a prescription drug that helps treat pain and addiction to opioids.

“It helps with no wanting to use,” she said. “When you do use on it, you can get sick from it if you try to use on top of it.”

Rehab centers across the state are looking to help more people like Korsog, but have had challenges when prescribing it. Under current law, practitioners are required to get a waiver from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

During a press conference Tuesday, Rep. Mike Turner (R, OH-10) promoted the Mainstream Addiction and Treatment Act. If the bill becomes law, it would allow practitioners to prescribe the drug without the waiver. He said it will allow better access to people who need it.

“Buprenorphine gives an ability to help them get back on their feet to restore their lives and to save their lives in some instances,” said Turner.

The US House of Representatives passed the bill on June 22. It is now waiting to be voted on by the US Senate.

Korsog believes the bill will help others like her in their recovery and it’s something she said is worth fighting for.

“I just want to give back to the community and be able to help in every way possible,” she said.

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