The opioid epidemic is one of the most serious issues affecting Tennessee. It seems that almost every Tennessean, including West Knoxvillians have felt the impact of this health crisis.

In 2016 the Speaker of the House appointed a task force to study this issue and to make recommendations to the legislature. I attended those meetings, listened to numerous experts, and spokes with many persons, including, health care providers, pharmacists, law enforcement personnel, and distraught and mournful parents.

I’m convinced that a solution to the opioid epidemic will be a long term effort, involving targeting substantial state financial resources to prevention through education, treatment, and law enforcement. I am eager to learn more about this crisis and in 2019 I expect to offer programs that will support Tennessee’s efforts to solve this problems.