Lawmakers Prepare to Tackle Opioid Abuse in Texas
In the wake of escalating overdose rates and lack of access to quality treatment resources, legislators in the lone star state claim they’re more serious than ever in tackling opioid abuse in Texas. Last week a House committee held its first meeting to discuss possible solutions to opioid addiction and subsequent overdose in the state. Many in Texas who have been directly or indirectly affected by opioid abuse say that this type of intervention is a long time coming, as more and more residents fall victim to opioid abuse and addiction. The first part of the initiative involves identifying what areas of the state need the most attention.
An Increasingly Urgent Problem
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, while the state, as a whole, ranks comparatively low, there are isolated pockets within Texas that are cause for concern and immediate action. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, less than 9 percent of people needing opioid addiction treatment in Texas are getting help, and the effects are wide-ranging. Legislators bemoan the lack of medically approved treatment resources for those struggling with opioid abuse and Texas and are exploring intuitive and proactive prevention and care solutions to the state’s affected population. Last year, Texas received $27 million to battle opioid abuse and addiction, it’s unclear where those funds went or if they have yet been spent.
The Plan Going Forward
The House committee has plans to meet throughout the summer to brainstorm solutions to opioid abuse in Texas and what can be done to treat those currently affected. Many are skeptical of the legislature’s ability to affect change in the face of rampant availability of opioids and the lack of access to treatment that so many face each day as they endeavor to get help. The Senate is also examining the public health issue.