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Portman Bill Allows States To Use Opioid Crisis Funds To Tackle Other Drugs

In this April 16, 2018 file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference at a Kroger supermarket as the company announces new associate benefits attributed to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Starting next year, states will have the ability to use money dedicated to the opioid crisis for combatting other forms of drug use. 

Sen. Rob Portman recently announced that a bill he sponsored called the "Combatting Meth and Cocaine Act"won approval. The legislation was folded into the recently-approved federal budget.

That means local governments will have the ability to direct State Opioid Response Grant funds towards prevention and treatment efforts for other drug addiction. 

"Other drugs are starting to come into our communities," Portman said. "This is not just an opioid problem. This is an addiction problem. And addiction is a disease that must be treated like other diseases."

CDC data shows opioid overdoses falling in Ohio, while overdoses of other psychostimulants rise. 

“In Ohio, unfortunately, we have been at the center of the storm," Portman said. "We’ve been one of the top two or three states in the country in terms of overdose deaths. Last year, in 2018, because of all the hard work we’ve been doing, here at the federal level, at the state level, at the local level, we actually saw a decrease."