Advocates make final push for overdose prevention bills in legislative session

Posted at 6:29 PM, May 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-10 22:29:51-04

AUSTIN, Texas — As the legislative session enters its final days, the fight against fentanyl is making its way through the state capitol.

Bills aimed at controlling the rapidly growing number of overdoses in the state continue to make progress in the legislature.

On Tuesday, H.B. 2908, or "Tucker's Law", passed in the house unanimously and made it to the senate. The bill adds fentanyl and overdose curriculum in schools for 6th to 12th graders.

The bill is named after 19-year-old Tucker Roe, who fatally overdosed in 2021.

His mother, Stefanie Turner, later founded 'Texas Against Fentanyl' to create awareness about fentanyl and give resources to affected families.

"Parents aren't aware of the danger, students aren't aware of the danger—and it's packaged in a little pill," Turner explained.

Roe died after consuming a pill laced with the drug. Turner hopes the bill could help children and parents understand the true dangers of the opioid.

"I believe that if Tucker had the knowledge of fentanyl, if I had that knowledge, he would've never tried that pill for the first time," she said.

Another bill, passed in the house in April, is also waiting for action in the Senate. H.B. 362 would decriminalize fentanyl test strips to determine the presence of the opioid in other drugs.

Overdose survivor Caleb Boaz said he has used the tool himself.

"There was many times that you would test a batch that you would think wasn't supposed to have anything in it but it did," Boaz said.

Both bills now have until the legislative session comes to a close at the end of the month to make it to the governor's desk.