Proposed legislation could give local communities more support in cracking down on human trafficking.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle support the PROTECT Act aimed to give law enforcement more tools to protect victims of human trafficking.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said the law would amend current human trafficking law to specify anyone who uses drugs or illegal substances to cause another person to engage in commercial sex or forced labor is a form of coercion.
The law could allow local law enforcement to charge the trafficker and protect the victim from some drug charges.
"But you protect the victim who has been trafficked who is now addicted. Unfortunately who has had to do some things in addition to commercial sex acts but have to do things connected to the drug addiction that we're trying to protect them form," said Senator Brown.
Senator Brown said stopping the use of drug addiction to exploit women and men is a major step in curbing human trafficking and opioid addiction.