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Attorney General Hunter Announces Opioid Commission to Reconvene, Appoints two New Members

Attorney General Hunter Announces Opioid Commission to Reconvene, Appoints two New Members

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse will continue its work studying the state’s opioid overdose and addiction epidemic when it reconvenes for the first time this year on Thursday.

In addition to discussing more ways to address the ongoing opioid crisis, the commission will welcome two new legislative members in Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, and Rep. Chris Kannady, R-Oklahoma City. They are replacing Sen. AJ Griffin and Rep. Tim Downing, who didn’t seek reelection to their seats last year.

The meeting will be hosted in room 206 at the Oklahoma State Capitol at 9:30 a.m.

Attorney General Hunter said while the commission made great strides last year, more work is needed.

“I greatly appreciate Sen. Roger Thompson and Rep. Chris Kannady for stepping up to assist in our continued efforts in curbing the state’s opioid epidemic,” Attorney General Hunter said. “They are both exceptional, influential leaders at the Capitol and have a passion for helping Oklahomans. The two of them, along with the other members of the commission, are serving as the catalyst for change to end the crisis facing our state. I look forward to furthering our research and taking action to help all Oklahomans who are struggling.”

Formed in April 2017, the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse has brought all stakeholders to the table, including doctors, law enforcement officials, treatment and addiction specialists, local business leaders and members of the state legislature to study the state’s epidemic.

At the commission’s first set of meetings last year, members heard from local and national experts, while studying and evaluating the scope of the epidemic.

During the 2018 legislative session, the commission saw all seven pieces of recommended legislation signed into law. The new laws provide more tools for law enforcement, will help prevent future addicts by limiting initial prescriptions for patients with acute pain, prevent the diversion of opioid prescriptions from flooding the market and hold distributors, manufacturers and businesses accountable through proper oversight.

“I’m honored to be asked to serve on the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse,” Sen. Thompson said. “The opioid epidemic has devastated families and communities throughout our state. We’ve created a strong foundation of public policy to save lives and curtail the abuse of opioids. I look forward to working with my fellow members on the Commission and within the Legislature as we continue this fight.”

Sen. Thompson was first elected in 2014 and represents District 8, which includes Okmulgee and McIntosh Counties, as well as parts of Okfuskee and Muskogee Counties. He currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Read his full bio, here: https://bit.ly/2B9gT4V.

“It is a privilege to join a team that is committed to saving lives,” Rep. Kannady said. “I thank Attorney General Hunter for his leadership on the commission and for asking me to be a part of it. I am committed to working side-by-side with my fellow members to deliver much needed change to end the crisis and chart a better path forward for our state.”

Rep. Kannady was first elected in 2014 and represents District 91, which includes Cleveland County. He currently serves as the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Read his full bio, here: https://bit.ly/2RT6THb.

Read the agenda for Thursday’s meeting, here: https://bit.ly/2S2egft.