Greg interviews Rob Portman, a United States Senator from Cincinnati, Ohio. In September 1996, Senator Portman founded the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati—now known as PreventionFIRST! The coalition’s purpose is to keep young people free of substance abuse. He was first elected to Senate in 2010, after winning 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties. More than 20 years later, Senator Portman’s fight against substance abuse continues to gain momentum today.

Senator Portman discusses various legislative bills he’s intentionally backed to support grassroots initiatives in their fight against substance abuse. One important bill he touches upon is the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). He explains that the bill focuses on creating awareness about prevention and treatment options, by funding community programs.

Greg asks Senator Portman about the funding lag of the CARA Act. Senator Portman says that they’ve been successful in getting the funding for CARA this year. He continues by breaking down the funding for the bill and discussing how Washington determines funding. “181 million dollars of additional funding must be done every year for CARA,” says Senator Portman. “On top of that, we receive an additional 50 million dollars of emergency state funding…This funding goes to states that are most severely impacted. Unfortunately, Ohio is one of those states.”

Listen to the podcast to discover how CARA and other bills backed by Senator Portman, like the 21st Century Cures Act, are making a difference in the opioid epidemic here in Ohio and across the nation.