I am writing in support of the Ohio Issue 1 that is on the ballot this year. If you have not yet voted, I encourage you to read this so that you can make an informed decision about how you would like to vote.
Ohio is at the center of the national drug addiction crisis. This crisis is everywhere and affects every community, even our own. When you reach the levels of addiction and overdose deaths that Ohio has, you start to realize that the face of an addict is not what you might picture. There are addicts of every gender, age, color, religion, marital status, socioeconomic status, and level of observance. Every type of person is susceptible to this. But especially young people, precious teenagers who have full lives ahead of them.
The goal of Ohio issue 1 is to provide more non-prison support systems so that those inflicted with addiction can separate themselves from their addiction, recover, and move on with their lives. Doctors, nurses and many people who work in law enforcement support Issue 1 because it will reduce the number of drug users who go to prison and funnel resources to recovery services. Healthcare professionals agree that prisons do not solve addiction and that more resources are needed to provide services that help end the horrible crisis we are in.
There is also a dollars and cents logic here as well. Financially, it is incredibly taxing on law enforcement agencies and prisons to deal with drug addiction, especially because they are not trained to do so. Issue 1 would help put dollars where they are most impactful – into recovery resources.
Lastly, there is no current solution to this crisis. If you are worried about drug addicts on the streets, THEY ALREADY ARE. That is the crisis! This effort would help provide resources for them to get better, not be housed in a prison, a hotbed of criminal activity, which will often do more harm than good.
I’m happy to provide resources on Issue 1 to anyone who is seeking to learn more. It has been heavily vetted by non-political actors and I can send reports and testimonials to people upon request.