June 25, 2018
I urge everyone, especially parents, to visit the website DontLiveInDenial.org to view the powerful new public-service announcement and campaign aimed at preventing opioid abuse.
As a father of five children, I understand how difficult it can be to acknowledge that the threat of drug abuse and addiction spares no one. This campaign is a wake-up call that merits vast distribution so that parents across our state are emboldened to take the first step and open a dialogue with their children about the grave consequences of prescription-drug abuse.
Behind this ad, however, is an equally important message that deserves attention about the good that can be done when the public and private sectors come together to help their community. The comprehensive media effort, spearheaded by the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance, takes the type of all-hands-on-deck approach that is critical to effectively battling this deadly epidemic.
As a state representative, I see the increasing amount of pressure placed on our state and local budgets as a result of the opioid crisis. In order to give us the strongest ability to overcome this challenge, I believe we must harness the innovative spirit of the private sector and tap into a funding stream that is not solely reliant on taxpayer dollars.
One way the government can encourage this is through social-impact bonds — a type of pay-for-success financing model. Social-impact bonds foster partnerships between the public and private sectors: The private market develops new programs, but the public sector pays only if the programs deliver results.
In the last state budget, I sponsored language that authorized the use of social-impact bonds and as state treasurer, I plan to further promote this program as a new way to help address some of Ohio’s greatest, and most expensive, challenges. The creation of the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance demonstrates that the desire exists within the private sector to make a positive difference; let’s make sure they have all the tools they need to do so.
State Rep. Robert C. Sprague, Findlay
Republican candidate for state treasurer