Missouri State Representative Holly Rehder

State Representative Holly Rehder's office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 3/13/2019 14:45:12 PM.

What district of Missouri do you represent?

 

District 148.

 

Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?

 

Devastating.  We are the only state that doesn’t have a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program.  This affects patient outcomes because our medical professionals do not have the data that they need to properly treat their patients.

 

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?

House Bill 188, the prescription drug monitoring bill; House Bill 168, the syringe access program; and House Bill 240, which establishes the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Committee.

 

What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?

House Bill 188 and House Bill 168 are my bills.  House Bill 240 I am helping advocating for.

 

Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?

House Bill 188 has passed the House and is in the Senate waiting to be heard.

 

What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?

I grew up in drug addiction. My sister was an addict by the time she was 16. One of my step dads was a dealer. My daughter became addicted at 17 and I gained custody of my grandson when he was 1 year old. He was born with opioids in his system. I’m very familiar with the opioid crisis. I’ve spent my 7 years in the legislature trying to educate other members on it.

 

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?

If we are talking magic wands…It would be to remove the stigma associated with the opioid epidemic.  We don’t think anything about helping someone with heart disease, who has it because they have been a smoker for years. We don’t think anything about them being on a maintenance medication to help with their heart disease.  We need to realize substance use disorder is no different.  Yes, it is brought on by ourselves.  But when I ask kids “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  No one says “I want to be a drug addict”.