During his State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. John Kasich announced a plan to allocate $20 million to research new approaches to address the state’s drug addiction crisis (Source: “State of the State: Kasich wants $20 million to fight addiction,” Columbus Dispatch, April 5, 2017).
Kasich announced that the Third Frontier Commission, which handles bond money approved by Ohio voters, will help nudge promising drug-treatment ideas into reality. The idea is to solicit proposals from researchers and centers that need a funding boost to quickly finish their drug-addiction breakthroughs to curb abuse and addiction, moving them from “the laboratory to the front line,” the administration said.
Minority Democrats and treatment providers have complained that the state is not doing enough to battle the crisis, and local communities have faced significant state funding cuts over the past six years. Kasich has countered that the state now spends nearly $1 billion a year in state and federal funds — largely for drug-addiction treatment for Medicaid patients — to counter the epidemic, though most of that is federal and local money.