A program training law enforcement officers in Ohio to recognize whether drivers are drug-impaired is drawing praise from prosecutors and others, while criminal defense attorneys say such assessments aren't scientifically accurate.
The Columbus Dispatch reports 71 law-enforcement officers statewide have completed training as certified drug-recognition experts since 2010. The program goes beyond sobriety tests to train officers to determine whether someone is impaired from drugs or a medical condition.
The head of Ohio's addictions agency plans to talk about new data showing state residents still dying from drug overdoses at record rates.
Orman Hall is director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. He also will use a news conference Tuesday afternoon to push for addiction treatment and other health care services for all Ohioans.
Data released last week show the number of people who died of accidental overdoses jumped 14 percent in 2011 for a total of over 17 hundred overall deaths.
A decision by Ohio Governor John Kasich to change the way doctors can bill Medicaid for a painkiller addition treatment may make it easier to obtain in the long run. The administration says the change could ultimately affect far more patients than a $1 million pilot program for ex-offenders vetoed by the governor last month.
Under the new change taking effect in October, pharmacies can bill Medicaid directly for Vivitrol and have the drug delivered to a doctor's office without an upfront payment.