Ohio Gov. John Kasich came to Portsmouth, a community ravaged by the abuse of opiate-based prescription drugs and illegal opiates such as heroin, to announce creation of a multiagency drug task force guided by former Attorney General Betty Montgomery, reports the Columbus Dispatch. He signed an order allowing treatment agencies to use a new generation of medications to wean people off opiate addiction, and announced a $100,000 grant for the Counseling Center, a private, nonprofit drug-treatment agency in Portsmouth.
“The devil was running rampant in this county,” Kasich said. “We really believe that Scioto County can be the tip of the spear to engage this battle that a lot of Ohioans don’t know is going on. We need a focused attack on the evil that lurks in this county that’s destroying families.” Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, was enthusiastic about the governor’s order, which will allow treatment agencies to use new drugs such as Suboxone to treat people addicted to painkillers or heroin.