The Texas House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse released its report on December 3, 2018. The committee, which is chaired by Rep. Four Price, asked the Texas EMS Alliance to provide testimony on the EMS response to opioids in Texas. Ernesto Rodriguez of Austin-Travis County EMS provided TEMSA’s response.
Click here to view the report.
The report concluded:
The opioid epidemic and substance use disorder crisis in Texas is real. The data is alarming. Although the substance abuse and opioid crisis facing the state of Texas may not be as statistically poor as is reflected in some other states, Texas faces significant challenges.
Positive steps have been taken in Texas to address problems associated with opioid addiction and substance use disorders, but we must remain vigilant in our efforts to stay ahead of the deadly scourge. Improved prevention practices, better education, enhanced prescription monitoring, better supply management/medication disposal programs, and expanded treatment options, as well as, cooperation from all stakeholders, including manufacturers, prescribers, dispensers and patients alike, is essential for further progress and positive, meaningful and measurable outcomes for our state.
Continued engagement regarding this matter must remain a priority in Texas to maintain the state’s path to prosperity.
This report reflects a great amount of time, study and hard work by the membership and staff of this committee. The document should serve as a catalyst for considerations for enhancement of current programs, for implementation of new programs, and as a framework for policy changes, legislative & non-legislative, to improve Texas’ ability to respond to the opioid epidemic and prevent further tragedies and costs.
Ernesto Rodriguez of Austin-Travis County EMS testifying before the House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse.