Senators Brown, Portman Introduce Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic

(WTOL) - The opioid epidemic is continuing to devastate Ohio communities.

Lawmakers from all political view points are trying to come together to tackle what is being called a public health epidemic.

Senator Sherrod Brown says legislation introduced along with Sen. Rob Portman helps the U.S. Customs and Border Protection keep the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl out of the country.

According to a report from the Ohio Department of Health, fentanyl-related overdose deaths in our state more than doubled.

The legislation, called the Interdict Act, would provide the CBP with hi-tech screening equipment and lab resources to detect fentanyl before it enters the country.

But Sen. Brown insists it is only one way to fight against the epidemic.

"You just can't keep the drugs out because the demand is still there," Sen. Brown said. "We need better prevention, better education. We need to preserve the Affordable Care Act; 200,000 Ohioans are getting treatment right now who have insurance from the Affordable Care Act."

Senator Brown also said without the medical treatment from the Affordable Care Act, addiction will continue and families will suffer.