(NASHVILLE) — Monday evening, House Republicans overwhelmingly supported passage of an initiative sponsored by State Representative David Hawk (R-Greeneville) designed to combat Tennessee’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
House Bill 1831 addresses our state’s public health crisis by limiting initial addiction to opioids among Tennesseans. The measure is designed to decrease the supply and dosage of prescription opioids with an emphasis on new patients and opioid prescriptions. The overall goal of House Bill 1831 is to reduce the number of opioids available in communities across our state.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, more than 7 million opioid prescriptions are filled annually in Tennessee. Studies suggest that patients who receive opioid prescriptions exceeding five days face a higher risk of addiction.
In 2016 alone, there were over 1,600 opioid-related overdose deaths, one of the highest death rates in the nation, and statistics show these numbers are only increasing. Each day in Tennessee, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses — more than the daily number of traffic fatalities.
Leader Hawk continues to lead efforts in the House chamber to address one of the biggest health concerns of the citizens of his community and those across our state.
“Tennessee’s opioid crisis is a complex issue that has no boundaries,” said Leader Hawk. “In fact, we all probably know of someone whose life has been impacted by this significant health issue. I am pleased that my colleagues have supported passage of legislation that begins to address the opioid epidemic, and I will continue to fight for additional resources so that we can end the cycle of addiction in our community, and in cities and towns across Tennessee.”
House Bill 1831 now awaits passage in the Senate. For more information about this initiative, please click here.
David Hawk serves as the House Assistant Majority Leader. He is also a member of the House Agriculture & Natural Resources, House Rules, and House Finance, Ways & Means Committee, as well as the House Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee. Hawk lives in Greeneville and represents House District 5, which includes part of Greene County. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by calling (615) 741-7482.