Latta Introduces the INFO Act to Combat Opioid Crisis
Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) has introduced the Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids (INFO) Act to improve and make available important data on the opioid crisis and the effect of federal efforts to combat the epidemic. The INFO Act would establish a public electronic database that would compile information on federal efforts to stop the opioid crisis. The information would be used to help federal, state, and local officials develop the most effective strategies to prevent addiction, treat those that are addicted, and keep prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands. The INFO Act would also track federal funding being used to combat the epidemic.
“Communities in Ohio and around the nation continue to suffer from the rise of opioid abuse and addiction,” said Latta. “While the magnitude of this crisis is evident in the number of opioid-related deaths, we’re still lacking basic information on the effectiveness of federal programs and other efforts. In order to develop the best plans to attack this problem, we need the best information. The INFO Act would improve data collection relating to addiction, prescription guidelines, treatment, pain management, patterns of abuse, and other areas in order to find help find solutions. When it comes to this crisis, failure is not an option.”
In 2016, 4,050 Ohio residents died of unintentional drug overdoses, the highest in the nation and a 32 percent increase over 2015. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.
In October, Congressman Latta held a forum in Defiance with representatives from federal agencies, local advocates, first-responders, and health care professionals to discuss obstacles and possible solutions to addressing the opioid crisis. Latta also recently participated in a White House event, where President Trump declared the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency.