Dean Appointed to House Select Committee on Opioid and Substance Abuse

In addition to a slate of interim charges released Monday, October 23, Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus created the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse. Representative Dean, known to be a policy leader on the topic, was one of thirteen members appointed to the committee.

“I would like to thank the Speaker for my appointment to this critical committee. As Mayor of Longview, and now the State Representative for our area, I have enacted a number of policies to counteract this epidemic,” stated Dean. “East Texas is particularly hard hit by toxic and lethal synthetic opioids. It’s robbing children of their futures, parents of their sons and daughters, and is simply a blight on our communities.”

Among the responsibilities of the newly created committee, is the study of the capacity and success of current programs and policies in Texas, and to research successful innovative programs implemented outside of the state. “I appreciate the multifaceted approach laid out in committee’s charter,” said Dean. “New laws and policies can only go so far. We certainly need to punish the bad actors and criminals who peddle these drugs, but we also need to look at ways to treat and help those who have fallen into the deadly grip of addiction.”

During the 85th Legislative Session, Dean authored House Bill 2671 which was signed into law by Governor Abbott. The bill updates penalty group classifications to include a number of new synthetic opioids and strains of synthetic marijuana so that drug manufacturers, dealers, and users who operate in this ever-changing illicit market can be properly prosecuted.