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House Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, Select - 85th R.S. (2017)

Committee Members
Walter "Four" Price, Chair
Joseph E. Moody, Vice Chair
Carol Alvarado
Garnet Coleman
Jay Dean
Ina Minjarez
Andrew S. Murr
Poncho Nevárez
Kevin Roberts
Toni Rose
J.D. Sheffield
Gary VanDeaver
James White
Charges
• Study the prevalence and impact of substance use and substance use disorders in Texas, including co-occurring mental illness. Study the prevalence and impact of opioids and synthetic drugs in Texas. Review the history of overdoses and deaths due to overdoses. Also review other health-related impacts due to substance abuse. Identify substances that are contributing to overdoses, related deaths and health impacts, and compare the data to other states. During the review, identify effective and efficient prevention and treatment responses by health care systems, including hospital districts and coordination across state and local governments. Recommend solutions to prevent overdoses and related health impacts and deaths in Texas.
• Review the prevalence of substance abuse and substance use disorders in pregnant women, veterans, homeless individuals, and people with co-occurring mental illness. In the review, study the impact of opioids and identify available programs specifically targeted to these populations and the number of people served. Consider whether the programs have the capacity to meet the needs of Texans. In addition, research innovative programs from other states that have reduced substance abuse and substance use disorders, and determine if these programs would meet the needs of Texans. Recommend strategies to increase the capacity to provide effective services.
• Review policies and guidelines used by state agencies to monitor for and prevent abuse of prescription drugs in state-funded or state-administered programs. Include in this review policies implemented by the Texas Medicaid Program, the Division of Workers’ Compensation of the Texas Department of Insurance, the Teacher Retirement System, and the Employee Retirement System. Make recommendations regarding best practices.
• Monitor and evaluate the implementation of legislation passed by the 85th Legislature regarding the Prescription Monitoring Program. In addition, review the prescribing of addictive drugs by physicians and other health care providers within various geographic regions of this state. Determine the role of health care professionals in preventing overutilization and diversion of addictive prescriptions. Provide recommendations that will improve efforts to prevent overutilization and diversion of addictive prescriptions.
• Identify how opioids have impacted the normal scope of work for law enforcement, first responders, and hospital emergency department personnel.
• Examine the impact of substance abuse and substance use disorders on Texans who are involved in the adult or juvenile criminal justice system and/or the Child Protective Services system. Identify barriers to treatment and the availability of treatment in various areas of the state. Recommend solutions to improve state and local policy, including alternatives to justice system involvement, and ways to increase access to effective treatment and recovery options.
• Examine the impact of overdose reporting defense laws known as "Good Samaritan" laws.
• Identify the specialty courts in Texas that specialize in substance use disorders. Determine the effectiveness of these courts and consider solutions to increase the number of courts in Texas.

Note:
Appointed by Speaker 10/23/2017, pursuant to Rule 1, Section 16, House Rules (Proclamation and appointment letters, Speaker Joe Straus).

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