Senator Rob Portman visits Youngstown drug recovery center - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Senator Rob Portman visits Youngstown drug recovery center

Posted: Updated:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Senator Rob Portman was in Youngstown Friday to talk about the heroin and prescription drug epidemic.

He was the author of the recently signed into law Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, also known as CARA.

Senator Portman visited the Neil Kennedy Recovery Center where he discussed the heroin and opioid epidemic with local community leaders and people who are currently in recovery.

The Senator wanted to know from those who work on the frontlines of the epidemic what's working and what's not working.  What is working is long term recovery but it's expensive and there are not enough beds available in Ohio.  

"That's what we need more of and that's going to require more funding and that's why the CARA legislation and the CURE legislation being implemented are going to help," said Portman.

One billion dollars in new funding was secured for state grants to fight opioid abuse.  And that money will help people get into programs like what Neil Kennedy offers.

Portman has also introduced legislation that would hopefully stop fentanyl from coming into the country in the first place.

"Our legislation simply says let's get at the problem here which is on the supply side which is it's coming through the mail system. Our U.S. mail system is not requiring the kind of information that the private carriers require and therefore the traffickers use our mail system to send this stuff and it's most made in China," said Portman.

Joseph Sitarik, Medical Director of Neil Kennedy, says the government needs to reduce restrictions on how many people can be helped by recovery centers at one time.

"We need to take off the limitation of 16 beds for Medicaid patients. Time and time again we have patients who are willing and ready to come to detox and there are no beds available," said Sitarik.

Senator Portman admits the government is slow to act when things are needed right away.  But he hopes the new laws and legislation will kick in soon to put a stop to this growing problem.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Thousands sing 'Happy Birthday' to Queen Elizabeth II

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:25 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:25:36 GMT
    (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.(Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP). Britain's Queen Elizabeth raises her glass during speeches at The Queen's Dinner, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace in London, Thursday, April 19, 2018.
    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.More >>
    Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a star-studded concert in London.More >>
  • 420's long, strange trip to pot holiday began in California

    420's long, strange trip to pot holiday began in California

    Sunday, April 22 2018 2:58 PM EDT2018-04-22 18:58:12 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Risberg). In this Friday, April 13, 2018, photo, the Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Steve Capper and Jeffrey Noel pose below a statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. Friday...(AP Photo/Eric Risberg). In this Friday, April 13, 2018, photo, the Waldos, from left, Mark Gravitch, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Steve Capper and Jeffrey Noel pose below a statue of Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. Friday...
    Where are The Waldos? Not far from the San Francisco Bay Area high school where in 1971 the five buddies' search for a marijuana patch gave birth to the term 420, now the date for marijuana's high holiday and...More >>
    Where are The Waldos? Not far from the San Francisco Bay Area high school where in 1971 the five buddies' search for a marijuana patch gave birth to the term 420, now the date for marijuana's high holiday and universal slang for smoking weed.More >>
  • Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Trump says he doesn't think personal lawyer will 'flip'

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:07 AM EDT2018-04-22 15:07:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File). FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Federal prosecutors said they can give President Donald Trump's person...
    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.More >>
    President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms