News Release
DATE: October 9, 2018

Members Call on Legislature to Properly Address Substance Use Disorder

The Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM), an association of physicians dedicated to addiction treatment and prevention, strongly believe that non-violent individuals with a substance use disorder are best served when provided proper clinical options.
While on its surface State Issue 1 appears focused on reducing addiction by favoring treatment over incarceration, a closer look at this proposed constitutional amendment reveals that it is not likely to fully achieve this intended mark. Stipulating any specific amount of illicit drugs an individual may possess before triggering a felonious offense, as Issue 1 proposes, is likely to inadvertently worsen the addiction problem in our communities.

For this reason, the members of OHSAM are opposed to State Issue 1 and urge Ohioans to vote ‘no’ on November 6. While we do not believe Issue 1 is the right approach, the proposal’s subject matter is ripe for attention.

We urge the General Assembly to adopt the overall spirit of this measure and immediately propose and quickly approve appropriate legislation that ushers in much-needed reform in the area of treatment and recovery options for the addicted. A new approach that brings balance to a complex dilemma while reducing the over-reliance on incarceration, especially for marginalized populations who are over-represented in Ohio’s prisons, is urgently needed.

ABOUT US: Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine (OHSAM) is a group of addiction specialists and other providers focused on caring for patients with substance use disorder. OHSAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction. OHSAM is affiliated with the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Learn more at:

CONTACT: Reginald Fields, MA
Executive Director
614-527-6726 /