Tennessee State Representative Harold M. Love
State Representative Harold M. Love’s office submitted these responses to the American Opioid Podcast on 3/4/2019 6:01:18 AM.
What district of Tennessee do you represent?
Briefly, how would you describe the opioid crisis in your state?
In 2015, Tennessee providers wrote 118.3 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (7.8 million prescriptions). In the same year, the average U.S. rate was 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons. The number of deaths related to opiod use is also higher than the national average.
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?
Last year HB2068 As enacted, imposes suspension or revocation of license for violations in the marketing of alcohol and drug treatment services. This year HB0765 will permits a prescriber who is not a patient's obstetrical or gynecological provider to prescribe buprenorphine products to certain patients if the prescriber is a member of the same specialty practice group as the patient's obstetrical or gynecological provider. HB0942 As introduced, increases the penalty to a Class B felony for 15 grams or more or a Class A felony for 150 grams or more of fentanyl, carfentanil, remifentanil, alfentanil, thiafentanil, or any fentanyl derivative or analogue.
What was your involvement, if any, in those bills (e.g., introduction, advocacy, vote pledge)?
I sponsored 2 of the bills and will be a co-sponsor of the third one
Have any of the bills passed? If not, why?
The bill from last year helping regulated drug treatment centers did pass. The other two or being introduced this year and should pass.
What was the most memorable experience you had while learning about the opioid crisis in your state?
Discovering the varying demographics of people that were being affected by opiod use. People from race, gender, sex and economic backgrounds were affected.
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?
It would increase education in k-12 and higher ed institutions on the affects of drug use and increase treatment for people who did get addicted
Are there any additional thoughts you would like to share?
I hope that policy makers will see the need to include crack cocaine and other drugs into this movement.