State Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) was among a diverse group of public leaders to participate in a round table discussion last month that focused on overcoming Ohio’s drug epidemic.
The discussion, organized by Richard Baum, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, provided an opportunity to bring together the wide variety of viewpoints and backgrounds that are needed to solve the drug crisis. It featured input from local, state and federal officials, as well as representation from law enforcement, courts, mental health, faith-based groups and families that have been impacted by addiction.
“I am grateful to Director Baum and Attorney General DeWine for allowing me to participate in today’s roundtable discussion,” Carfagna said on Sept. 22. “There is a strong nexus between addiction and mental illness and we need to do more as a state and country to intervene at the K-12 level. Half of all chronic mental illness manifests itself by the age of 14, with three quarters of all mental illness arriving by age 24. By identifying the warning signs early, we can prevent youth in our state from struggling in school, turning to substance abuse, and eventually committing crimes.”