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Did Texas Politics Block An Overdose Drug Grant?

Naloxone is a drug that can save the life of a person who has overdosed on opioids like heroin or prescription pain pills. In May 2016, Texas public officials started the process of applying for a $1 million federal grant to make naloxone more available within the state. But the grant was never submitted, and so Texas never got the money. What happened?

According to The Texas Tribune, not only did state officials fail to apply for the grant, but then the Department of State Health Services then took steps to prevent documents related to the would-be grant proposal from becoming available to the public.

According to the article, the Department of State Health Services claimed that the application was simply never completed, and because unfinished documents are not considered open records, the agency had no obligation to make the records public. But others believe that the application had been completed, but simply hadn't been submitted because state officials didn't want to seem "soft" on drugs.

Opioid drug abuse continues to be a major problem in Texas, including for babies born with opioid addiction and withdrawal. According to the CDC, in 2014, 2,601 people died of drug overdoses in Texas, and most drug overdoses are a result of opioid use. While naloxone isn't a magic bullet that would resolve a person's addiction, it can save lives.

Opioid possession, trafficking and distribution are crimes by themselves; drug use can also lead to users committing other crimes to get money to buy more drugs. If you or a loved one has been affected by the opioid crisis, and are facing criminal charges as a result, it's important that you seek professional legal representation to help you through your ordeal.

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