Minnesota State Senator Chris Eaton
State Senator Chris Eaton’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 3/4/2019 9:11:55 AM.
What district of Minnesota do you represent?
Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?
An epidemic that continues to worsen
What are the two or three most significant bills that have been introduced in your chamber to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state?
Steve's Law: (SF 1900, 2014)naloxone available to everyone, includes a good samaritan component if you call for help and cooperate with law enforcement.
Opioid Epidemic Response (SF 751, 2019) obtains $20million annually from manufacturers and distributors of opioids that do business in MN through increased license fees. Creates advisory council that determines distribution to directly impact the opioid epidemic.
What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?
Chief author of Steve's Law and initial chief author of the Opioid Epidemic Response bill until the GOP obtained the majority and then I convinced the Finance chair to be the chief author. I am a co-author.
Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?
Steve's Law passed in 2014, Opioid Epidemic Response bill is in Ways and Means this week in the house, and in HHS finance this week before going to Finance next week.
What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?
Meeting all the families who lost loved ones and hearing how similar all their stories were.
If you had a magic wand that allowed you to pass any legislation you wanted in order to help alleviate the opioid crisis in your state, what would that legislation look like?
Immediate access to treatment and support in the emergency room
Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?
My frustration is that MN is listed as a state with low impact from the opioid epidemic due to the metric of judging severity by number of deaths. just last year one organization, the Steve Rummler Hope Network distributed 12,469 overdose prevention kits with naloxone, trained 4,751 in reversal of overdose in more than 67 counties. There are three other organization doing the same. The number of reported saved overdose victims is 2000. We know that is approx. 35% of the reversals, as the majority are done by friends and family who don't report it. We get less funding because we are preventing deaths. Conservatively, we had at least 5,000 overdoses, but saved all but 500.