One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28 North Adams Elementary recognizes Students and Staff Members of the Month for December Honoring a coaching legend Benefit will assist double-lung transplant patient Peebles to be featured in new documentary Cleaning the stables-the worst job on the farm Wenstrup reselected to serve on House Intelligence Committee Venture Hawks and Sheriff’s Department square off on Feb. 12 Cecil R Dupree Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week Star Wars costume exhibition coming to Museum Center

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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2016 People's Defender