Newly-Created Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Set to Begin Work

State Rep. Holly Rehder

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — State Rep. Holly Rehder will soon begin work with a panel of her peers to look for solutions for the growing substance abuse epidemic in Missouri. Rehder is part of the 16-member Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, which is made up of six House members, six members from the Senate, and four individuals appointed by Gov. Parson.

The new task force was created by the passage of SB 514 during the 2019 legislative session. The legislation specifies that the task force will conduct hearings on current and future drug and substance use and abuse in Missouri. The group will also explore solutions to these issues, and draft or modify legislation as necessary to effectuate the goals of finding and funding education and treatment solutions. The task force will report annually to the General Assembly and Governor with recommendations for legislation pertaining to substance abuse prevention and treatment.

Rehder was appointed to the task force by House Speaker Elijah Haahr. Rehder is one of the legislature’s leading voices in the fight against substance abuse. She has championed numerous bills to help curb substance abuse including the Narcotics Control Act, which would cut down on abuse of prescription drugs, and a bill to legalize needle exchange programs, which would help substance abusers get access to the treatment they need.

“I am confident we can develop effective solutions that will help more Missourians win their fights with substance abuse and give them a faster path back to a healthy, happy lifestyle,” said Rehder, R-Scott City.

In addition to Rehder, the task force includes state Reps. John Black, Dave Griffith, Nick Schroer, LaDonna Applebaum, and Martha Stevens. The task force is also made up of state Sens. Tony Luetkemeyer, Bob Onder, Bill White, Shalonn Curls, Jamilah Nasheed, and Jill Schupp. The governor appointed Rodney Hummer, Philip Ohlms, Greg White, and Rachel Winograd to serve on the task force as well.