We were already dealing with an addiction crisis in Ohio before COVID-19, and this pandemic is only making it worse.
From increased social isolation, to the strain on people’s jobs, school, and family budgets, this pandemic has not been easy for any of us. For Ohioans struggling with addiction, all of that only gets harder.
In Ohio, overdoses from opioids and meth are both on the rise. With more Ohioans dealing with addiction, it’s even harder for people to get the treatment they need. We cannot leave people struggling with addiction on their own and without help.
That’s why I teamed up with my Republican colleague from West Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito, to write to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in support of efforts to research and develop effective medication treatment options for those struggling with addiction to methamphetamine and other stimulants.
Medication-assisted treatment has been an important tool in our fight against opioid addiction, and has allowed many Ohioans to get treatment in their own homes. But right now, there are no FDA-approved medication options for those struggling with addiction to methamphetamines.
NIDA recently announced promising research findings related to a potential medication treatment option for methamphetamine use disorder. We’re encouraging further investment and increased research to help develop effective treatments, both during this pandemic and in the years ahead.
I’ll keep fighting for additional resources to help Ohio fight addiction – both through additional COVID relief measures, and through Medicaid. The package we passed in December included more than $4 billion for mental health and substance use disorders. We must ensure Ohioans dealing with addiction have accessible and reliable treatment options, now and in the years to come.
Sherrod Brown is the senior U.S. senator from Ohio.