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Senator Portman Visits Portage County, Meets Board Members & Agencies

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) participated in an opioid roundtable discussion hosted by Hope Village Recovery Center with the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County (MHRB) on August 30, 2018.

As a result of Portman’s bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA), which provides additional resources for prevention, treatment and recovery programs that have proven to work, the MHRB of Portage County was awarded a $534,750 grant through the Ohio State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. These funds will be used over a three-year period to expand medication-assisted treatment access and retention through use of peer support specialists in outpatient and residential settings and to enhance the ability to provide integrated care.

“It was a great meeting with Hope Village Recovery Center leadership, MHRB members, and community leaders today discussing how the opioid epidemic is impacting the community,” said Portman.

"The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County is making terrific use of the funding they received through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a bill I authored that became law in 2016. Their comprehensive approach to addressing addiction and its grip on our communities is exactly what is needed to help turn the tide of the opioid epidemic in Ohio."

Following a panel discussion featuring about 15 different agencies at Hope Village Recovery Services in Rootstown, Portman said he will be able to share some hopeful stories with his colleagues in the Senate about the ways various agencies in Portage County are spending the grant money from the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

“I think they used it very effectively,” said Portman of the county’s use of the grant. “I am going to have some very positive things to say about their collaboration and ability to work together.”

Represented on the panel were the Mental Health and Recovery Board, Coleman Professional, Townhall II, Children's Advantage, Family and Community Services, Hope Village Recovery Services, University Hospitals, Kent State University, NEOMED, AxessPointe, Job and Family Services, the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, and the Portage County Commissioners.

Portman said he is trying to get the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act 2.0 through Congress, which would provide additional money for fighting addiction and all the dangers that result from it.

According to an informational flyer from Portman’s office, the proposed bill would: place a three-day limit on opioid prescriptions; allow physician assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine under the direction of a physician; waive the limit on the number of patients a given physician can prescribe buprenorphine to; increase penalties for opioid manufacturers who fail to report suspicious orders of opioids; and establish a national standard for recovery residence to ensure quality housing for individuals in long-term recovery.

(Reporting from the Record Courier)

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