‘I have lived the nightmare’: Lt. Gov. lays out plan to fight addiction


Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, whose two sons are recovering opiate addicts, wants Ohio to issue a 10-year, $1-billion bond to pay for drug treatment services and innovations, hire more narcotics cops and continue to tighten up prescribing rules for powerful painkillers.

“For me, this is personal. I have known the sorrow that drug addiction causes,” Taylor said in prepared remarks for a scheduled speech at the Life Enrichment Center in Dayton on Thursday. “I have lived the nightmare that you read about.”

RELATED: Lt. Gov. Taylor reveals sons’ battle with opiate addiction

In her remarks, Taylor details “the story every parent dreads the most in their heart” — getting a frantic phone call, rushing home, finding emergency lights flashing and an officer at the door saying “your oldest son is one of the lucky ones. He is going to live. Saved by the timely intervention of your younger son, four shots of Narcan and the grace of God.”

Taylor, one of four Republicans running for governor in 2018, is backing a plan to:

• Reform prescribing guidelines and emphasize non-opioid alternatives to treating pain;

• Issue a 10-year, $1-billion bond to pay for treatment services and work with the Trump administration to gain flexibility in how Ohio uses its Medicaid funds;

RELATED: Mary Taylor’s story shines a light on cost of drug treatment

• Hire more narcotics officers, pay for better data collection and stop drug imports at the borders;

• Use her own personal story to knock down the stigma attached to drug addiction.

Unintentional drug overdoses killed nearly 60,000 Americans, including more than 4,000 in Ohio, last year. “Most of those deaths were caused by opiates. This is a crisis for the entire nation — and Ohio is the epicenter,” Taylor says in her remarks. “It is the most challenging and dangerous social problem we face.”

The Kasich administration strongly supported expanding Medicaid for 725,000 low-income Ohioans, one-third of whom have drug abuse issues. Experts say Medicaid is the largest payer of addiction treatment services in many states and its expansion has given millions of adults with drug problems access to treatment.

Taylor opposes the expansion of Medicaid, which was made possible by Obamacare, arguing that it’s not sustainable.

RELATED: How Ohio governor candidates plan to fight the heroin crisis

Taylor is running in the GOP primary against Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine of Cedarville, Secretary of State Jon Husted of Upper Arlington and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci of Wadsworth.

On the Democrat side, candidates include Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, former state representative Connie Pillich of Cincinnati, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton of Akron and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill.

In May, DeWine announced Ohio was filing a lawsuit against drug manufacturers whose aggressive marketing of painkillers contributed to the drug addiction crisis.

RELATED: Ohio AG Mike DeWine sues drug companies.

Dayton also filed suit against drug makers and Whaley proposed a nickel-per-pill fee on prescribed opiates to help fund the fight against the addiction crisis.

RELATED: Nickel per pill: Whaley’s prescription painkiller surcharge plan



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Residents share worries about impact of Dayton school closings
Residents share worries about impact of Dayton school closings

Almost 100 parents, school staff and concerned residents gathered at Meadowdale Elementary on Thursday night to provide feedback to Dayton Public Schools officials who are weighing whether to close any schools. School board member Mohamed Al-Hamdani first said he wanted to dispel the myth that the district plans to close nine schools. That rumor has...
Springfield student arrested after Facebook threat: 4 things to know
Springfield student arrested after Facebook threat: 4 things to know

A student at Springfield High School has been arrested after police said she made a Facebook post about a school shooting that went viral, including in multiple states. Here’s four things you should know about the ongoing case. » READ MORE: Attendance ‘light’ at Clark County Schools after threat, arrest made 1. ‘I will...
Financial experts say you should do these things with your tax refund
Financial experts say you should do these things with your tax refund

‘Tis the season for taxpayers to get a nice chunk of change back from the IRS. It’s tempting to spend it all, but financial experts say there are steps you should take to shore up your financial future.  Some who usually pay off debt will splurge this year. “I’m going to Japan in April so I’m actually going to add...
WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone
WATCH: Security camera captures two men who terrified kids home alone

It’s any parents, and kids, worst nightmare. Strangers, trying to bust down the front door of a dayton home, just minutes after parents left for work, and their 11-year-old kids home alone. Dayton police have opened an investigation. A security camera on a neighbor’s house on holly avenue in dayton captured the faces of two men, wearing...
Arrest made in attempted robbery at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton
Arrest made in attempted robbery at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton

Dayton police arrested an 18-year-old man after a failed robbery attempt at Table 33 restaurant in downtown Dayton. According to a Dayton Police report, just after 5 p.m. Thursday, a man in camo pants and a red shirt grabbed a female bartender by the arm and ordered her twice to open the cash register. The woman refused both demands and the man ran...
More Stories