Tennessee governor to unveil opioid plan Monday

Opioids pills

AP Photo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is slated to unveil a plan to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

The Republican governor plans to release the details in a news conference Monday alongside Senate Speaker Randy McNally, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeffrey Bivins.

Haslam says some, but not all, of the plan will require legislation.

The details of the plan have not been released but Haslam says some, but not all, of it will require legislation.

Harwell has said the opioid workload might include securing more money for rehabilitation and drug court programs and state investigators; expansion of partial fill of prescriptions; and tougher penalties for drug dealers who lace their products with dangerous substances, including fentanyl.

A report from The Associated Press found substance abuse costs the state over $2 billion annually. More than 1.29 billion of that total is attributed to lost income from people who have fallen out of the labor market. Other listed costs include $422.5 million for hospitalizations associated with opioid abuse and $138 million for hospitalizations with alcohol listed as the first diagnosis.