William L Ivarson Jr Senior Profile: Braydan Gaffin Senior Profile: Ethan Pennywitt Senior Center spreading Christmas cheer Stout named Administrator of Monarch Meadows Richard Francis Frank B Young William Scaff Gregory A Silvia Jr Davis now the winningest coach in Lady Devils basketball history Clutch plays give Green Devils OT win Eighth grade Greyhounds go on the road, grab 55-41 conference win at Whiteoak Lady Indians can’t hang on, fall to Eastern Brown Indians open up with big Homecoming win Greyhounds drilled by Fairfield in season opener How to sell 94 losses NAES leads local schools represented at PBIS Showcase PHS Beta Club recognized as National School of Distinction MES wins Momentum Award for second year running Fire destroys Winchester business Martha Becraft Cynthia A Sopher Clarys Holliday Basketball Special: 2017-18 Justice girls lead Peebles to win over Felicity Senior Profile: Adison Wright Lady Dragons slain by buzzer-beater Freshmen double-doubles lead Lady Hounds to win in opener County mourns passing of OVSD Board member Tom Reed Peebles man arrested in connection with woman’s disappearance Leaving a written legacy Not really ready to go back to pioneer days Peebles Jr./Sr. High School awarded PBIS Bronze Award North Adams High School named National Beta School of Distinction Operation Christmas Child collects 1,867 boxes Samantha Jameson honored as Young Professional of the Year Youth Deer Season again plagued by bad weather Humane Society hosting Ugly Christmas Sweater contest Dec. 9 Local centenarian celebrates birthday number 100 with family and friends Jerry R Pratt Edward Lykins Jr NAES students focus on spreading kindness Leland P Sautter Kelly B Anderson Dorothy Grooms Sharon D Brumley Anna J Grooms Local student/athletes awarded Wendy’s Heisman Awards Lady Devils JV triumph in opener Senior Profile: Colten Ball Peebles hosts SHAC Boys Preview Lady Devils fall in tough opener Janet A Pedicord Nettie R Fleshman Senior Profile: Sianna Mills North Adams boys ride the ‘3’ train to victory Lady Devils trounce Georgetown Senior Profile: Austin Stamper North Adams’ Williams named OIAAA Administrator of the Year County hoops squads on display in SHAC Girls Preview Going off the grid Michael L Chamblin A newer, kinder county pound takes a more humane approach TAG students are winners at Invention Convention Adams County Florist decks the halls Thomas J Reed Shirley A Stiffler Sharon G Wright Lottie J Meade June R Williams Lions and Cowboys and no Bengals, thankfully Senior Profile: Tyler Horsley North Adams sweeps Manchester Cheer Championships Indians face tough test in first pre-season scrimmage Senior Profile: Abby Faulkner Seas reflects on second state tournament experience NA’s Harper signs to continue hoops career at Rio Grande Hendrickson named Assistant Coach of the Year in Division III girls soccer Take the hint, it’s Thanksgiving time again Small Business Saturday in Adams County Art Council’s newest production will have you ‘laughing through your tears’ North Adams students working to help the homeless Grateful Richard A Graham #SawyerStrong Billy L Smalley With some help from Adams County, Ohio Statehouse now has wheelchair charging station Wenstrup announces re-election campaign Delta Dental provides two local schools with new drinking fountains Ernie McFarland honored by Ohio Bankers League Veterans Day parade, ceremony held in West Union Adams County schools celebrate Veterans Day Being the change November: As Mr. Seas it Protecting Ohio seniors from rising healthcare costs It’s November-have some soup and pie SHAC Boys Preview is Nov. 24 at Peebles June Hall Alice B Himes Claudia U Mitchell

Making a difference By combating the heroin epidemic

At a recent town hall in Darke County, I asked those in attendance how many of them had family members or friends who had been impacted by addiction. More than half the hands went up. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised. It was just the latest example of how the abuse of heroin and prescription drugs is impacting our communities.

More than 2,000 Ohioans now die every year because of drug overdoses from opioids, heroin or prescription drugs. More than 120 Americans die every day. It’s become an epidemic, and it seems to be growing worse, not better.

Three years ago, I set out to do something about opioids at the federal level. I have been involved in addressing drug abuse for more than two decades, including starting an anti-drug community coalition in my own hometown of Cincinnati and passing legislation that focuses on prevention and education. But this opioid epidemic is different and the grip of addiction more devastating.

I traveled throughout Ohio listening to those in the trenches who work in prevention or treat addicts in recovery. I heard from law enforcement, health care professionals, families who had lost loved ones to this disease, and recovering addicts themselves.

We then convened five conferences in Washington, DC, bringing in experts from Ohio and around the country to discuss topics ranging from the need for better education and prevention, to the best practices on treatment, to dealing with the specific challenges of our veterans, and to helping the increasing number of babies who are tragically born with addiction.

Informed and inspired by those discussions, I co-authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, also known as CARA, with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Our goal with this legislation is to begin to help turn the tide of addiction and save lives.

I’m proud to report that the United States Senate recently passed CARA on a rare, bipartisan vote of 94-1. The measure takes a number of critical steps toward combating this epidemic including, first and foremost, by ensuring that resources are devoted to evidence-based prevention, treatment, and recovery programs that work. Here is some of what the bill does:

CARA expands prevention and educational efforts – particularly those aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers – to prevent prescription opioid abuse and the use of heroin in the first place.

CARA increases the number of disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.

CARA expands the availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone to law enforcement agencies and first responders to save more lives.

CARA creates new prescription drug monitoring programs to help states monitor and track prescription drug diversion and over-prescribing.

CARA identifies and treats individuals suffering from substance use disorders in our criminal justice system and expands diversion and education efforts to give individuals a second chance.

CARA devotes additional resources to proven treatment and recovery programs at the state and local level for the millions of addicts who need help.

CARA helps women and babies by expanding treatment options for expectant and postpartum women struggling with addiction.

Lastly, CARA provides additional help to veterans, setting up more Veterans Treatment Courts that help break the cycle of drug abuse through a program of rigorous treatment and personal accountability.

This is the first time in decades the Senate has had a real debate on drug addiction policy – how to prevent it, treat it, and ultimately help people recover. The basis of our legislation is that we should start treating addiction like other illnesses. I believe this will help break the stigma associated with drug addiction to get more people into recovery and a healthier, more productive life, helping them achieve their God-given potential.

CARA now has the support of more than 130 national stakeholders in the public health, law enforcement, criminal justice, and drug policy fields, including dozens in Ohio. While the Senate has passed this bill, our work is from over. It’s time for the House of Representatives to act so we can get this bill to the president’s desk and signed into law. I will not rest until we accomplish this goal.

The challenge of addiction will ultimately be solved by our families and our communities coming together, united by a common goal and our shared faith that with the right tools we can succeed. CARA makes the federal government a better partner in that noble effort.

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Rob Portman

Contributing Columnist

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