Brown visits Youngstown to announce new federal opioid funding


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat of Cleveland, visited the Mahoning Valley today to discuss funding to combat the opioid epidemic that is included in a new federal spending bill.

Brown spoke from the city police department downtown, and was joined by city police Chief Robin Lees and Ruth Bowdish, a chemical dependency counselor for On Demand, a treatment provider in Austintown.

Brown spoke about $65 million in federal funding that will fund his INTERDICT Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law earlier this year. That funding will go to detection devices and interdiction equipment at U.S. borders.

Brown also noted plans for $3 billion in federal funding, part of which will be prioritized for states that are hardest-hit by the opioid crisis, including Ohio.

“We have a lot more work to do to fight this terrible, terrible epidemic that has afflicted so many in the Mahoning Valley,” Brown said.

“The funding is so important, because today alone, 11 people will take their last breath here in Ohio” due to drugs, said Bowdish. “What we’re fighting for here is no less than human lives.”

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