Gov. Brown launches opioid task force

Governor Kate Brown’s Opioid Epidemic Task Force is holding its first meeting today, September 19!

Gov. Brown is also signing House Bill 3440, a comprehensive bill that removes barriers the lifesaving overdose drug Naloxone, improves access to Drug Court, and prohibits insurance companies from requiring preauthorization for the first 30 days of medication as part of treatment.

The task force is responsible for identifying and implementing efforts to address the growing opioid misuse and abuse across the state. The task force will prioritize improving access to effective treatment, eliminating barriers to obtaining and administering drugs for opioid overdose, and building pathways for individuals to participate in drug courts in lieu of incarceration.

Members of the task force include CODA Executive Director Tim Hartnett; Judge Eric Bloch, Multnomah County Circuit Court; Joshua Free, Consonus Healthcare; Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward; Dr. Katrina Hedberg, Oregon Health Authority; Dwight Holton, Lines for Life; Dr. Amy Kerfoot, Northwest Permanente; Aaron Knott, Oregon Department of Justice; Dr. Safina Koreishi, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization; Sen. Jeff Kruse; Dr. Paul Lewis, Multnomah County Public Health; Jeffrey Rhoades, Office of Governor Kate Brown; Dr. James G. Shames, Jackson County Health and Human Services; Rep. David Brock Smith and Rep.Jennifer Williamson, House Majority Leader.