After Issue 1 failure, what's next in the battle on Ohio's opioid epidemic?

Issue One was designed to reduce penalties for some drug crimes, taking on addiction and Ohio's large prison population. (WSYX/WTTE)

After David Sigal overcame his addiction, he started a foundation in Central Ohio to help people dealing with addiction.

"I buried 30 people in three months right after I got out, that is when I realized we have a huge problem here," said Sigal who started the Loud Life Foundation.

He spends his time now talking with young people about the dangers of opioids, as well as preparing for talks with Washington.

"We've been fighting this at Washington, we have to tell them once people get out of treatment, we need to have aftercare programs," he said.

Now that Issue 1 failed in Ohio, the talk is on, what's next?

The issue would have amended Ohio's constitution. It was designed to reduce penalties for some drug crimes, taking on addiction and Ohio's large prison population.

"What we need to do is prevent and get aftercare programs and resources for people in the criminal system," said Sigal.

ABC6/FOX28 was there as groups fighting for and against Issue 1 got the results on Election Day, with more than 60% of Ohio voters saying no to Issue 1.

"Criminals will not be sent back into neighborhoods and quite honestly that real reforms on treatment can now be looked at by our political leadership," said David Myhal, with Protect Ohio, No on Issue 1.

"We are on the right side of history, everyone agrees that Ohio needs to change course, there are too many people in prison that shouldn't be there, there are not enough treatment options in the state of Ohio," said Shakyra Diaz, one of the authors of Issue 1.

Wendy Patton works for Policy Matters Ohio.

"Instead of punishing addicts, we need to treat addicts," she said, "these are really the conversations we should be having."

She sees the discussion and work surrounding Issue 1 in many ways as a first step to potential reform.

"We think that it is an issue that is going to stick around. We look forward to continuing to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle, with the community, and faith community, and others," she said.

Stay with ABC6/FOX28 for any new developments or future efforts to take on Ohio's drug epidemic.

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