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Ohio Efforts to Form Opioid Pact Repeated in New England
Ohio Ag Connection - 03/14/2019

Chief justices from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont have formed the New England Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (NE RJOI).

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and fellow chief justices, government, law enforcement, health officials and academics from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia convened in Cincinnati in August 2016 to create the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI).

The following year, the National Judicial Opioid Task Force was founded by the Conference of Chief Justices, led by Chief Justice O'Connor, and the Conference of State Court Administrators.

The purpose of each enterprise is to work collaboratively across borders -- and across professional disciplines -- on treatment, health strategies and interdiction.

"We are sharing best practices, enabling new legislation, and keeping abreast of the treatment options for addiction," said Chief Justice O'Connor.

Multi-state projects allow each state group to coordinate and share solutions that promote recovery, while enhancing public safety and support quality of life for individuals, families, and communities.

The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance awarded NE RJOI $1.5 million to help develop a regional approach and support opioid initiatives in each of the states.

New England has some of the highest opioid-related deaths in the nation ranging from 18-36 deaths per 100,000. The region also has some of the nation's highest rates of opioid prescriptions, ranging from 60 per 100 in Massachusetts to 70 per 100 in Maine.

More information about regional approaches in the fight against the epidemic can be found on the website of the National Center State Courts.

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