Federal, State and local leaders work to reduce opioid abuse

Federal, State and local leaders work to reduce opioid abuse

Jason Howell, RecoveryPeople

Media coverage of the Alamo Drug Awareness and Prevention Training (ADAPT)held February 22, 2017 at Texas A&M San Antonio event by FOX San Antonio/Amanda Weber, Wednesday, February 22nd 2017

State and local leaders work to reduce drug abuse

SAN ANTONIO-5 percent of school aged kids in the state of Texas have reported using opioids. State and local leaders met Wednesday to work and stop what they say is becoming an epidemic in San Antonio. Across the nation, nearly 48 million people have said they used illegal drugs and misused prescription drugs in the last year. Now, law enforcement says one of the most overused is becoming opioids, commonly known as OxyContin, Percodan and Percocet.

“The biggest difference with the opioid epidemic is that its hidden across socio and economic geographical areas,” said Director of the South Texas Drug Trafficking Program. Nearly 30,000 deaths in 2014 were related to overdoses of prescription drugs. Tony Garcia is one of dozens Wednesday coming together to educate and prevent drug and substance abuse in San Antonio. He says they see opioid abuse predominately in those high school aged up to 30 years old.

“From a prevention standpoint we need to recognize that opioids, the pain killers are addictive, and so educating parents that know they shouldn’t be giving their prescription to one of their loved ones,” said Executive Director of Recovery People, Jason Howell. Jason Howell is one of the 2.7 million Texans in long term recovery. He says the most important things in working to tackle addition is prevention, treatment and support through recovery. “As a person in recovery, I definitely advocate for getting peer support services billable, I can imagine a day where someone goes into the hospital because they are overdosing, when they come out of that overdose there should be a recovery coach right there that connects with them and then follows them as they go back out into the community,” said Howell. Howell says Texas Medicaid would have to support that. He along with several others are hoping more than a dozen pieces of legislation will move forward in Austin next month that support their efforts.

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