Pubdate: Mon, 01 Dec 2014
Source: Blade, The (Toledo, OH)
Copyright: 2014 The Blade
Pubdate: 01 Dec 2014
Author: Tom Troy


Would Make It Easier to Give Anti-Addiction Medication to Help Users

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) was in Toledo today to generate 
support for a bill he's co-sponsoring that would make it easier to 
give anti-addiction medication to help heroin users break their heroin habit.

The bill, still awaiting action in the Senate, would increase the 
number of patients who would be able to get methadone medication to 
help them break their drug habits in response to demand from opiate abuse.

Senator Brown is co-sponsoring the Recovery Enhancement for Addiction 
Treatment Act, and said he's looking for bipartisan support in the 
Senate and the House.

Former heroin addict Tiffany Brackett, 27, of Toledo, told guests and 
the media at a news conference in the Zepf Center downtown that 
medication was an important part of her kicking heroin.

She said she started as a teen using pain pills and eventually turned 
to injecting heroin with a needle.

"I woke up one day and I literally had nothing," Ms. Brackett said. 
She took the drug Suboxone for five years, eventually weaning off of 
it. Today, she is married with a son and has a management position in 
a supermarket.

She said she spoke at Senator Brown's news conference because she 
wants the drug treatment to be available to help more addicts the way 
it helped her.

According to Senator Brown, 1,914 Ohio residents died from accidental 
drug overdose in 2012.

At present, only doctors can administer the drug and can accept only 
30 patients in their first year and no more than 100 after applying 
for approval after the first year. The legislation would increase the 
first-year limit to 100 and allow for unlimited treatment after 
further approval, and it would allow physicians assistants and nurse 
practitioners in some cases to prescribe the drug.

Senator Brown said the restrictions were put in place to prevent 
prescription drug abuse, but he believes the abuse can be controlled. 
The law has licensing and training requirements.
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