Ohio may crack down on prostitution to fight opioid crisis

Updated Feb 23, 2018
Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

Ohio may increase the penalties on people who solicit prostitutes in an effort to fight the state’s opioid crisis.

A bill proposed would increase the penalty from a third-degree to a first-degree misdemeanor. Those convicted could face up to 180 days in jail. Currently the penalty is up to 60 days.

RELATED: Damage from opioid crisis tops $1 trillion

The bill was introduced by Rep. Adam Miller, D-Columbus, and Rep. Jim Hughes, R-Upper Arlington.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Democrat Sen. Enda Brown and Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze plan to sponsor a sister bill that would increase the potential fine for so-called “johns” from $500 to $2,500.

MORE: Collaborative effort needed for solutions to Ohio opioid crisis

Brown says drug abuse leaves people vulnerable and susceptible to fueling their addiction any way they can. She says that’s resulted in a rise in prostitution among women suffering from addiction.

Forum: Solutions to opioid crisis in Ohio should be ‘self-sustaining, repeatable’

Collaborative effort needed for solutions to Ohio opioid crisis

Residents weigh-in on drug crisis: ‘People are in despair and hopeless’

The Associated Press contributed to this report.