New Ohio attorney general says opioid epidemic will be top priority


The opioid epidemic will be the top priority for Dave Yost as he takes over as attorney general on Jan. 14.

Yost spoke with Local 12 News during an interview in Columbus. The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives in Ohio. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 3,613 opioid-related overdose deaths in Ohio in 2016. Yost said he plans to roll out proposals in his first year in office to deal with the epidemic.

"I'm convinced that we're thinking about it in the wrong way and that we've got to change our thinking,” Yost said. "The bottom line is there are too many new addicts every year for the prosecution and law enforcement system and the addiction treatment system to handle."

Yost said there’s research that looks at the genetic component of addiction and there may be a way to determine who is more likely to become addicted. He said that could be used to look at alternative treatments for pain management.