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What is the Ohio STOP Act?

On October 24, 2018, Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s STOP Act was signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump as part of a package of laws put in place to fight the ongoing opioid crisis in America.

The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Protection Act is one of many laws that will help slow down the current opioid epidemic in America. Officials have passed this bill in hopes of increasing access to quality long-term treatment and recovery resources for patients and opioid users. The bill was also put in place to help stop drug traffickers from transporting synthetic drugs (such as fentanyl) from being shipped into the United States through the United States Postal Service.

A previous U.S. Senate investigation proved that drug traffickers around the world were successfully exploiting a loophole that allowed synthetic drugs to be shipped to the United States, but the STOP Act will prevent this from continuing. Now, individuals from foreign countries who are attempting to ship packages using the United States Postal Service will be required to properly label their packages with correct information, including their contents and delivery address.

Senator Portman has spent years working on bills and measures that will help Ohio and the United States as a whole protect communities from the opioid crisis. The following is a breakdown of some of the numerous benefits of the STOP Act.

Reducing the Supply of Deadly Synthetic Drugs

This bill will help the country reduce the supply of deadly synthetic drugs that are constantly shipped to America. Upon seeing the results of an 18-month investigation that showed how drug traffickers have consistently exploited the international mailing system, the STOP Act will close the loophole that has allowed this to take place for so long. Synthetic drugs such as fentanyl were being shipped from China using the United States Postal Service, needlessly exposing law enforcement officers and postal workers to a deadly drug. The STOP Acts aims to end this by requiring international shippers to provide detailed information on the contents of their package and where they are being shipped to.

Reauthorizing Key Federal Anti-Drug Initiatives

There are several federal programs that have helped America effectively treat recovering patients while also preventing further drug use. Programs that provided grants to anti-drug campaigns With the passing of this bill, several programs will now be reauthorized, making them eligible for federal funding. There will now be far more opportunities for counties and communities to receive the resources they need to combat drug trafficking while treating patients who are suffering from opioid addiction. With the help of this bill, numerous counties in Ohio will be able to receive funding that will directly assist with the anti-drug activity that will play a vital role in the stoppage of synthetic drug use.

Increasing Access to Quality Recovery Housing

Quality recovery housing is an essential resource for individuals who are attempting to recover from drug addiction. The STOP Act includes a provision that establishes national quality standards and best practices for recovery housing. This provision aims to ensure that individuals who are transitioning out of medical treatment and into longer-term recovery have quality housing options they can depend on throughout their roads to rehabilitation.

Providing Treatment for Infants Born Dependent on Drugs

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a problem in America. This syndrome is a group of conditions that are caused when a baby withdraws from drugs/substances they were exposed to in the womb before birth. When a mother takes opioids during pregnancy, the substance can pass through the placenta and cause infantile drug dependency for the baby.

When neonatal abstinence syndrome is detected, it is crucial for babies to get immediate treatment after being born. Most babies who receive proper treatment are able to recover within a matter of days or weeks. However, this syndrome can lead to long-term problems such as learning disability, vision problems, hearing problems, and other miscellaneous behavioral issues.

With the STOP Act now in place, residential pediatric recovery facilities will now be recognized as providers under Medicaid, allowing Medicaid to cover services that take place within these facilities. This legislation will also authorize $60 million in funding that will provide planning for the safe care of babies born dependent on drugs, which is also part of Senator Portman’s CARA 2.0 legislation.

Implementing a National Youth Recovery Institute

Drug addiction does not only affect older individuals. There are millions of drug addicts who suffer from addiction during their teenage and young adult years. Because of this, it is important to provide quality support that is catered to adolescents and young adults who are struggling with drug use. This bill will authorize grant funding that will help programs that are specifically tailored to help high school and college students who are suffering from substance abuse disorders.

Using Health Information Technology to Improve Addiction Care

Health information technology is a crucial aspect of addiction care and drug recovery treatment. As Health IT has become widely adopted by many healthcare providers, there are many psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric hospitals, and other behavioral healthcare providers that have been left behind throughout this transition. This bill will help behavioral health care providers utilize electronic health records in hopes of providing better care for individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorders, drug addiction, and various mental health disorders.

Training and Educating Physicians on Addiction Medicine

The STOP Act will provide additional support to medical schools and residency programs in their endeavors to train students on addiction medicine. In an attempt to provide more medical treatment to patients in Ohio, this additional training and education will allow more physicians to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction.

There are currently eight medical schools in Ohio. With this bill, all eight of these institutions will now have additional support that allows them to train students on how to assist individuals who are suffering from drug addiction.

Effects of Drug Use on the Community

The use of synthetic drugs such as fentanyl is extremely deadly. It only approximately 3 milligrams of this synthetic drug to cause a deadly overdose, and many studies have shown this substance to be even more dangerous than heroin. Furthermore, the use of synthetic drugs can lead to individuals being charged and convicted of drug-related crimes. Drug crime convictions can cause people to lose their employment, academic standing, and clean criminal record.

Sabol & Mallory | Drug Crimes Lawyers in Ohio

Sabol Mallory LLC applauds Ohio legislation put in place to help recovering drug addicts find their places in society, and we remain committed to providing legal defense for individuals who may have been charged with drug crimes. If you are in need of criminal defense attorneys, don’t hesitate to contact us at 614-300-5088 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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