Baker Briefing: Curbing the Opioid Epidemic in Texas
In the United States, drug overdose deaths are on the rise. In 2022, CDC researchers reported that 110,236 people died from an overdose in a single 12-month period, setting a new record. Synthetic opioid overdose deaths, primarily due to fentanyl, increased nearly 7.5-fold from 2015 to 2021. In Texas, the number of fentanyl-related deaths rose dramatically — from 883 deaths in 2020 to 1,672 deaths in 2021. While Republican lawmakers in Texas have previously opposed harm reduction policies, many have signaled a desire to take policy action to combat the crisis in the 2023 legislative session.
In this episode, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, fellow Katharine Neill Harris, and fellow and former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett discuss policy approaches to the rise in fentanyl-related deaths. They explore strategies that have been successfully adopted in other states and what policies could receive support from Texas legislators.
The Honorable David M. Satterfield, Director, Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Janice and Robert McNair Chair in Public Policy
The Honorable Edward M. Emmett, Fellow in Energy and Transportation Policy, Baker Institute; Former Harris County Judge
The Honorable Ed Gonzalez, Sheriff, Harris County
Katharine Neill Harris, Ph.D., Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy, Baker Institute
The Honorable Kim Ogg, District Attorney, Harris County
About Baker Briefing
Baker Briefing is a podcast that tackles the most critical foreign and domestic policy issues of the day in conversations with experts at the Baker Institute. Hosted by the Honorable David M. Satterfield, director of the Baker Institute, new episodes are released weekly.
Attend a Live Recording
Each episode of Baker Briefing is recorded in front of a live audience at Rice University in Houston, Texas. You can attend live recordings by joining the Baker Roundtable, the Baker Institute’s membership forum.