COLUMBUS — As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Mike DeWine dithered for years as Ohio became the epicenter of the nation’s opioid epidemic and as local governments on the front lines of the crisis had their budgets slashed by the state, crippling their ability to provide treatment and prevention.
Today’s announcement by DeWine is simply one more belated attempt to get in front of a crisis that has exploded during his seven years on the job. Worse, during those seven years, while other states and cities were taking on drug companies in the courts, DeWine was wasting time and money on national partisan crusades, such as trying to shut down birth control coverage.
“Today’s lawsuit is just another reminder of how far behind and ineffective Mike DeWine has been in tackling Ohio’s tragic opioid crisis,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Just like many of the actions included in DeWine’s 12-step opioid plan, today’s announcement comes long after leaders elsewhere have taken similar steps and acts on suggestions that Ohio Democrats have offered on multiple occasions, going back years. It’s just a shame that for most of his time as attorney general, DeWine saved his energy for political battles like stopping birth control coverage and internet cafes while doing so little on an issue that has torn apart so many families and communities.”
Opioid overdoses in Ohio increased by 39 percent between mid-2016 and mid-2017.