WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJER) - One of Ohio’s senators is taking a recent grant from the Department of Health and Human Services as an example of how federal funding can make a dent in the state’s opioid crisis. 

Democrat Sherrod Brown says $55.8-million directed to the Ohio Department of Health will help expand medication-assisted treatment under Medicaid. Brown says it’s those programs, like the Vivitrol program at the New Philadelphia Health Department, that are helping people who can’t afford treatment on their own beat addiction.

“I was with a man in Cincinnati at a treatment center and he put his hand on his daughter’s arm, his grown daughter, and he said without Medicaid my daughter would be dead, and that’s pretty clear that having Medicaid in place in addition to some federal dollars can make all the difference,” he says.

But Brown says there will be need for more funding from the federal and state levels as well as systematic changes in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors to see any significant progress on the problem.

"The doctors need to all be held accountable. The drug companies need to be held accountable, and we’ve gotta do our jobs to help people through this awful, awful public health crisis," he says.

Brown says he opposes a move in Columbus to turn city and county lawsuits against drug makers over to Attorney General Dave Yost. He says securing local funding for prevention and treatment programs should be a priority. 


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