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Latta directs attention to opioid crisis in Ohio

On Monday, Rep. Bob Latta, R-OH, joined a Congressional subcommittee with the intention of fighting opioid abuse in northwest Ohio.

WASHINGTON — Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Latta joined a Congressional subcommittee in order to further examine the state efforts underway to curb the opioid crisis, his office said Tuesday. 

Latta's efforts also come as a way to shine a spotlight on the importance of legislation he introduced and that was signed into law in 2018; Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl and Opioids (INFO) Act, according to his office. 

"Last Congress, I authored the INFO Act in order to create a one-stop-shop dashboard to help states learn about the various substance use disorder funding opportunities available across the federal government so they can better serve the people in their communities who are struggling with substance abuse. A record amount of resources are being made available to prevent addiction, provide treatment, and combat this crisis, but we need to ensure that communities, like those in Northwest and West Central Ohio, can access these funds,” Latta said. 

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Ohio had the second-highest rate of drug-related overdose deaths involving opioids in the country in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, in 2017, prescription opioid overdose deaths fell in Ohio by almost 28% since 2011, but overdose rates are still high. Prescription opioid-related overdose deaths accounted for 523 of Ohio’s total 4,854 unintentional overdose deaths in 2017, compared to 564 of 4,050 total deaths in 2016 – which was the highest in the nation at the time.