February 13, 2018
Fredericksburg, TX (02/13/18) — Representative Kyle Biedermann (R- Fredericksburg) recently hosted a total of three “Drug Crisis In Our Backyard” Roundtables in New Braunfels, Boerne and Fredericksburg, TX. The roundtables, which had standing room only crowds, were specifically focused on the recent heroin, opioid and methamphetamine drug epidemic.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids quadrupled. The majority of drug overdose deaths, more than six out of ten, involve an opioid. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
“This is an issue beyond daily politics. All of us are affected by the drug crisis in our backyard and we must work together as a community to search for answers and provide support. The heroin epidemic that is plaguing our communities must be confronted head on. The countless stories and newspaper headlines are absolutely heartbreaking. My goal is to bring together our local, state and federal officials as well as our school officials and local community members to work together to combat this issue. As a state legislator, I’ve committed to doing everything in my power to get the resources needed to combat this crisis and keep our children and communities safe,” said State Representative Kyle Biedermann.
Over the past few weeks, Representative Biedermann has held a total of three roundtables in New Braunfels, Boerne and Fredericksburg. The roundtables have focused on discussing the recent spike in meth, heroin and opioid use. After collecting input from the experts and community at large, Biedermann plans to work with law enforcement, school officials, local, state and federal officials as well as with the community to combat this epidemic.
Panelists featured at the roundtables include: Sheriff’s and police chiefs from all three counties (Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds, Kendall County Sheriff Al Auxier, Gillespie County Sheriff Buddy Mills), (New Braunfels Police Chief Tom Wilbert, Bulverde Police Chief Gary Haecker, Boerne Asst. PD Chief Jeff Page, Fredericksburg police chief Steve Wetz), administration from school districts in all three counties (New Braunfels ISD, Boerne ISD, Fredericksburg ISD), rehabilitation specialists in all three counties.
- The average age of a drug user is 37 years old
- The most used drugs in all three counties are marijuana (around 60%), Meth (around 30%), and other (10%)
- Opiod use in all three counties is on the rise
- 80% of heroin users start using prescription drugs first
- 1 in 3 children have an anxiety disorder which can lead to prescription drug abuse
- The cost for one student in a six-month drug rehabilitation program costs $30,000 in Kendall County
- Prescription drug use with youth is on the rise
- It is “very easy” to get drugs in all three counties
- Ordering drugs online is quickly increasing
Panelist discussed several action items and solutions to help combat this epidemic, those items included:
- Rep. Biedermann has formed a drug advisory council that will be comprised of law enforcement, school counselors, rehabilitation experts, and leaders around the area
- Sheriff’s in all three counties want to bring back a drug task force
- Experts stated that a prescription drug database be shared by doctors and pharmacists across Texas to crack down on people getting prescriptions from multiple pharmacies at once
- More drug officers in our schools
- Increase drug awareness education for parents and students
“Many thanks to Rep. Biedermann to arranging such a successful drug crisis round table discussion. We recognize that our roles in the school system are evolving, as we help make parents and students aware of all the dangers that may face students in today’s society. Great community partnerships like these, with law enforcement, families, SACADA, and other organizations help us reach unparalleled success in our goals of highly effective substance abuse prevention strategies in the Boerne ISD to prevent problems before they begin.” Dr. Holly Robles, Boerne ISD Student Assistance Counselor
“Excellent Opioid Crisis Roundtable discussion led by Rep Biedermann brought much awareness to the Kendall County community. As a community and business leader, panelist and other community leaders worked together to discuss the crisis that is affecting not just our Kendall County community but all of America. MANY folks are unaware that prescription pain killers are very addicting not only to adults but minors as well. Pain killers are basically synthetic heroin that affect our pain receptors in the brain which cause the addiction. This serious addiction along with alcohol can cause life threatening side effects. In more than 15 years, I personally have never witnessed a State Rep. as involved with his district as Rep. Biedermann. He is a ‘hands on’ representative, ALWAYS available, answers and returns phone calls and genuinely listens to his constituents concerns.”- Jodi Pereda, Kendall County Juvenile Probation Office.
“Starlite Recovery is thankful to have been invited to participate at Representative Biedermann’s Opioid Epidemic roundtable discussion. We are excited to see so many different principals of the community coming together to work towards supporting the citizens who are challenged with the disease of addiction. Understanding the nature of disease it the first step in realizing solutions. “ – Dawn Elder, Starlite Recovery Center.
“Substance misuse and addiction continue to have a huge impact on the health and safety of our community. We are honored and thankful to have our State Rep Kyle Biedermann take leadership in this area during the Round Table last week. We appreciate his commitment in bringing the experts in the field of substance misuse and addiction together to ensure our community is on the forefront for best practices of prevention, treatment and recovery.” Abigail Moore, CEO San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse.