State Sen. Darrell Weaver has been selected to participate in a national program on opioid policy. Weaver, R-Moore, is one of only 25 legislators from across the country chosen to participate in the National Conference of State Legislators’ (NCSL) Opioid Policy Fellows Program.
Weaver, a former executive director for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD), was nominated for the program by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, then selected by NCSL. The program is designed to support legislators who are experienced or emerging leaders on opioid health issues.
“I’m excited to be able to draw on my experience with OBNDD to work with my fellow lawmakers here in Oklahoma and across the United States as we continue to seek new ways to combat opioid abuse and addiction,” Weaver said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, opioids were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, representing 67.8 percent of all drug overdose deaths. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that opioids were involved in 388 deaths in Oklahoma in 2017—a rate of 10.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000.
“We’ve made important strides in recent years, but it’s clear we have more work to do. Far too many Oklahoma families have lost loved ones because of opioid abuse,” Weaver said. “I am grateful to Pro Tempore Treat and to NCSL for this opportunity to share information from experts and fellow legislators from throughout the country to find new and better ways of addressing this deadly crisis.”