Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water Basketball officiating class being offered in October Peebles rolls by West Union in straight sets Par for the course, Dragons sweep SHAC Golf titles Greyhounds hang on late for first win of 2016 season You have to understand the process to understand the job Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift Adams County Heritage Days are Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Lady Devils prevail 1-0 over Peebles on Kickin’ Cancer Night Senior Profile: Patrick Baldwin Michael W Milby James R Grooms Sr. Fall Festival crowns Little Miss and Mister UPDATE: Pike County multiple murder Investigation; redacted autopsy reports released West Union Elementary names August Students of the Month SHAC streak continues for North Adams volleyball West Union volleyball picks up a pair of W’s Animal Shelter booth sees record crowds at Old Timer’s Day Festival Dragons top Manchester in Defender Bowl battle, 28-22 Senior Profile: Kendall Gallowitz Lady Dragons grab early lead in SHAC Tourney, final round is coming Friday Another Old Timer’s Days in the books and successful Run Gio Foundation to hold Oct. 1 benefit in Adams County Betty L Kelley Tom Cross, ACTVB Director, to receive ODNR Cardinal Award Seaman Fall Festival begins Wednesday, runs through Saturday Dragons still lead after two rounds of SHAC Golf, McCarty tops individual leader board Lady Dragons get SHAC win, downing Fayetteville 3-1 Overcoming obstacles, Pennywitt etches his name in MHS record books Dragons take first day lead in SHAC Golf Tourney New drug treatment offers more hope for recovering addicts Ronnie G Nace Lucille Wright Lois M Bixler Time to change those soccer rules Senior Profile: Hannah Grimes ‘Cruising up and down the main drag all night long’ Community effort erects town clock S Bridge to be replaced on Graces Run Road Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Lady Dragons break ACCC course record Dragons roll in county gridiron battle Down to last play, Hounds fall in heartbreaker I never won, but those lawn games were special times Donnie Austin Shari R Hiltibran Bentonville hosts 40th Annual Harvest Festival West Union soccer teams sweep Williamsburg, St. Patrick “Rockin” the mats again Senior Profile: Brittany Caldwell Sylvester Mefford Local teens selected to State 4-H Teen Leadership Council Connect with Serpent Mound over Old Timer’s Days Guthrie to speak about pests and diseases in beekeeping Old Timers Days Festival Cornhole Tournament is this week Defender Bowl coming Thursday Bentonville Harvest Festival holds Toddler Pageants 40th Anniversary Bentonville Harvest Festival hosts Baby Show 9/11 Reminds Us That We Are All Americans Lady Dragons are 2016 County Cup winners Bob Birchfield Senior Profile: Ryan Henderson Dragons take JV golf match Another rough night for Greyhounds, Notre Dame rolls to big win Remembering 9/11-15 years later Hughes honored at GABP Concussions and Youth Sports Roberta Newman to retire after more than 46 years at First State Bank Reaching out to the Baton Rouge flood victims Bentonville Harvest Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary Fire it up! Annual Jr. Fair BBQ cooks up another savory fare Lady Indians take down Whiteoak in four sets Senior Profile: Zack Best Greyhounds produce three winners at the 2016 Dragon Run Lady Hounds win in five sets at West Union Teresa Houdeshell Rosa Grooms Roy C Shiveley Mathew R Potts Staggs and Louiso to visit nation’s capital
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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