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Rep. Four Price to chair Texas House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse

The Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives has issued a proclamation forming a new House Select Committee to research and propose legislative solutions to combat Texas’ opioid epidemic. Representative Four Price was selected to serve as the committee’s chairman.

“I am honored to again lead a select committee tackling a vital public health matter. Every community throughout Texas is impacted daily by the scourge of substance addiction. I am eager for this new select committee to achieve meaningful results similar to what we accomplished concerning mental health,” Price said.

The House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, comprised of 13 members, will also investigate the impact of substance abuse on individuals, families and communities, including the impact on the services provided by first responders and emergency room personnel.

Opioid addiction is a topic that affects many Texans. In 2015, over 1100 deaths in Texas were directly attributed to opioid abuse, which is part of a larger trend of 33,000 deaths nationwide in that same year.

A 2013 study by Matrix Global Advisors estimated that the epidemic cost to the state of Texas nearly $2 billion in 2007. Costs have only continued to rise ever since.

Price previously led the House Select Committee on Mental Health – the committee’s work and recommendations resulted in passage of major legislation improving access to mental health services including House Bills 10, 13 and 3083 authored by Price during the 2017 regular legislative session.

Price continues to also serve as chairman of the House Committee on Public Health. During this interim, the committee will examine numerous vital health matters, including: the treatment of Alzheimer's and dementia, and recommend opportunities for advancing treatment and cures; enhancing health care delivery in medically underserved areas; and the process of organ and bone marrow donations.

The House Natural Resources Committee, on which Price also serves, has several assignments related to water, including studying the impact of abandoned and deteriorated groundwater wells. Price, serving on the House General Investigating and Ethics Committee, will also have the opportunity to examine Hurricane Harvey disaster relief aid.

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