Greg interviews Mike DeWine, the Attorney General of Ohio and staff members Alisha Nelson, Community Outreach Specialist and LeeAnne Cornyn, the director of the Children’s Initiative . In 2016 alone, 4,050 Ohio residents died as a result of unintentional drug overdoses – a 32.8% increase from 2015. Attorney General Mike DeWine has developed a 12 point plan titled Recovery Ohio in the hopes of decreasing these ever-growing numbers.

Greg asks the Attorney General why his plan, Recovery Ohio, includes giving authority to the Governor to declare a state health emergency, when it’s generally thought that is already within the scope of the governor’s powers. The Attorney General explains that there is still a lack of urgency in Ohio and the aim of Recovery Ohio is to extend the power of the governor to make more coordinated efforts in combating the crisis. “I don’t think we’ve had enough urgency in regards to this crisis. I mean, imagine if 15 people were killed today in Athens, Ohio… and then 15 more are killed the next day by terrorists in Mansfield, and on and on and on. We would be up in arms. Yet we’re losing, we think, about 15 people every day. So, first of all, there’s got to be more of a sense of urgency. What this plan really is is a vision of what I would do as governor and these would be things that I would hope to accomplish as governor. Some of them we’re already doing as the attorney general, but some of them, frankly, I can’t do as the attorney general. But our number one is really to give the governor the ability to declare a public health emergency and what we are trying to do is give him more power. For example, he could accelerate the process for state licenses in regards to critical professions, such as medical or social work fields. Just to do things that would be reactive to this particular crisis. We think with that type of legislation we can expand the governor’s authority about as far as we can take it from a constitutional point of view.”

Listen to the podcast to discover how this plan and the other points in Recovery Ohio are working towards a fully coordinated system to provide aid to those affected by the opioid epidemic.