Congressman Calls for Increased Addiction & Recovery Funding

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown)

At least 46 people died of Heroin or Fentanyl-related overdoses in January, according to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner.  Eleven cases are pending, possibly raising the figure for the first month of 2017.  In a written statement Monday, Dr. Thomas Gilson suspects 14 fatal overdoses this weekend were caused by opioids. 

Congress last summer passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).  But its co-sponsor, Youngstown representative Tim Ryan says the federal government needs to put more money behind the law.

 “I think we are doing a disservice to our constituents and our communities if we don’t recognize that we need an emergency spending bill for this issue, probably to the tune of 5-10 billion dollars, immediately getting it out to the communities and solving this problem,” says Ryan 

Speaking on the WVIZ/PBS public affairs show “ideas,” Congressman Ryan says local communities don’t have enough funding to provide an adequate number of treatment beds even when addicts seek help.  Under CARA, Congress has authorized more than $180 million a year for the next five years to address addiction issues including prevention, treatment and law enforcement. 


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