The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released the second in a series of inventories and scorecards analyzing Ohio’s policy response to the addiction crisis and outlining areas where the state could be more effective.
The new report, “Ohio Addiction Policy Inventory and Scorecard: Overdose Reversal and Other Forms of Harm Reduction,” provides policymakers and other stakeholders with the information needed to take stock of Ohio’s policy response to overdose deaths and other addiction-related harms.
- Cautious optimism and continued action on overdose deaths. For the first time since the opioid crisis began, Ohio’s monthly overdose deaths started to decline markedly in the second half of 2017. Ohio’s strong policy focus on overdose reversal has likely contributed to this good news, but hundreds of thousands of Ohioans still struggle with addiction, and more can be done to save lives.
- Hepatitis C presents major challenges for policymakers. Largely due to injection drug use, rates of hepatitis C have increased in recent years. Given the high price of drugs that treat hepatitis C, state policymakers will need to find sustainable ways to cover treatment for thousands of Medicaid enrollees with this disease, and should invest in harm reduction to prevent future infections.
- Evidence-based harm reduction is an underutilized tool. Ohio can do more to incorporate harm reduction strategies as part of a comprehensive, person-centered response to the addiction crisis.
Earlier this year, HPIO released a scorecard on prevention, treatment and recovery. Future HPIO scorecards will address topics such as surveillance and evaluation, children services, law enforcement, and criminal justice reform.
HPIO is a nonpartisan, independent statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to health policy. Its mission is to partner with policymakers and other stakeholders engaged in the policymaking process to provide the independent and nonpartisan analysis needed to create evidence-informed state health policy.