December 31, 2018

Guillen Pledges to File Bill to Combat Opioid Crisis

Starr County Campus Opens New Buildings

AUSTIN - Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rural South Texas, will file legislation for the new Texas legislative session starting in January to help people affected by the opioid crisis. A recent report by the Texas House Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse showed that Texas, like other states across the country, faces rising opioid abuse and says the crisis must be addressed.


"We can't put this on the backburner and then wait for things to get worse," said Guillen. "Action needs to be taken now to mitigate the increasing deaths and damage to families."


More than 1,300 Texans died of an opioid overdose in 2016. In 2017, nearly 3,000 people died from overdoses of opiods and other dangerous drugs, according to the report. The Association of Substance Abuse Programs' Cynthia Humphrey told the House committee that the opioid crisis disproportionally affects women. She said that maternal mortality has gone up in recent years.


Rep. Guillen shepherded a "Good Samaritan" bill through the legislature last year that would protect people who report overdoses, but it was ultimately vetoed by the governor. This session he plans to introduce a similar bill.


"Now is our opportunity to save the lives of  Texans and help their families avoid the pain of losing a loved one. We must seize the day and get support of all members of the House and Senate to succeed."


The legislative session begins January 8th of next year. Rep. Guillen said he intends to file an opioid bill and many others before the legislature convenes.


Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and