Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $940,000 to Ohio for Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces $940,000 per year, for the next four years, to the State of Ohio for prescription drug overdose prevention from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This funding has been made available through the new Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States program (PDO PfS). Ohio is one of 16 states funded to scale up interventions to address and reverse the prescription drug overdose epidemic that is causing harm to individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States.

“Each day I turn on the news and hear another devastating story about a life taken too soon because of heroin or prescription drug abuse,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “I applaud this move to expand and enhance prevention. If we don’t address the causes, there will be no way to treat those suffering here in Ohio and across the nation. Prescription drug abuse is at an epidemic level in our state and it is clear that we need to do everything we can to begin to stem this dangerous tide.”

For the next four years, CDC will award Ohio $940,000 per year to advance prevention on multiple fronts, tailoring interventions to fit the existing need within each state. States will be funded to:

  • Enhance prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Put prevention into action in hard-hit communities, by educating providers and patients about the risk of prescription drug overdose
  • Work with health systems, insurers, and providers to help them make informed decisions related to prescribing pain medication
  • Respond to new and emerging drug overdose issues through innovative projects, such as developing a new surveillance system or communications campaign

The PDO PfS program is an important step toward helping states address this growing national epidemic. Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled. More than 16,000 people died from prescription opioid overdoses in 2013. Heroin deaths have also been on the rise, with more than 8,000 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2013—a nearly three-fold increase since 2010. The amount of opioids prescribed and sold in the United States has increased four-fold since 1999, but there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report.

PDO PfS was a competitive announcement and in launching year one of this program, CDC was able to fund 16 out of the 34 states that applied. With the proposed increase of $48 million included in the President’s FY 2016 Budget request, CDC would stand equipped to expand this program to all 50 states for a truly national response to this troubling epidemic. If you’d like more information about CDC’s Prescription Drug Overdose activities, please see www.cdc.gov/DrugOverdose.

Ohio Representatives Tim Ryan, Marcia Fudge and Marcy Kaptur introduced the Breaking Addiction Act of 2015 earlier this year to give states the flexibility to use federal Medicaid matching funds for mental health treatment. Click here to read the Breaking Addiction Act of 2015. Visit https://www.cms.gov/(link is external) to learn more about the new guidance and service delivery opportunities.