We frequently in this space discuss our displeasure at the addition
of more laws and regulations on both the federal and state level. Many
times we feel these legislative changes are deeper intrusions into
everyday citizens’ lives with the benefits being reaped only by the
government and an ever-growing “Big Brother” situation. This week
another new law was passed in the state of Ohio but this time we applaud
On Thursday, Gov. Kasich signed into law HB 315
(See the complete changes at:
other items, including variances and changes in definitions of the
operation of maternity homes and the updating of drug chemical names,
the law requires reports be sent to the Ohio Department of Health giving
the number of children born who are diagnosed as opioid dependent at
birth. HB 315 was authored by Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (District 81).
Times Bulletin has been reporting on the serious drug problem in Van
Wert County for years and the situation finally warranted being included
in the Top Ten stories of the year as far back as 2010. Drug use is
still considered a major issue in the area with the heroin epidemic
being rated the number two story locally in 2013. The decision was an
easy one to make considering nearly 40 percent of all cases handled in
Van Wert County Common Pleas Court contained drug-related charges during
Drug abuse is not just a Van Wert County problem,
however. The state of Ohio realized the issue last year and in January
rolled out a new program called Start Talking. Using four initiatives,
the program attempts to help parents and peers talk with students about
the dangers of drug use:
1) 5 Minutes for Life - This program
utilizes a partnership between the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio
National Guard, high schools, and the OHSAA to persuade student-athletes
to ambassadors for a drug-free life.
2) Building Youth Resiliency
- This behavioral-health program focuses on school attendance,
discipline, and grades in an effort to keep students in school and off
the streets where drug problems arise.
3) Know! - This drug
awareness and prevention program works with teachers through schools and
the Ohio Department of Education to look for drug use signs in
4) Parents 360Rx - This program’s goal is to give
parents the tools they need to talk about drug problems, including
prescription drugs, and the issues of abuse and dependency.
(The state of Ohio’s website for the Start Talking program is http://starttalking.ohio.gov/)
addition to these steps, now the state legislature and Gov. Kasich have
gone further in an attempt to identify potential drug abuse problems.
By collecting data on the number of babies starting off life already
addicted to drugs, the state can take steps to help these children and
track whether the problem is continuing to grow or if their efforts are
working to curb drug use in one segment of our society. It remains to be
seen what the government does with this statistical information but we
applaud the first step in the effort.