TOPEKA, KS – Governor Jeff Colyer issued an Executive Order today creating the Governor’s Task Force to Address Substance Use Disorders. The Executive Order became effective upon signing and the Task Force shall continue until such a time as the Governor determines.

“The crisis of substance use disorder, particularly addiction to opioids, heroine and methamphetamine, has truly become an epidemic in our state and our country,” said Governor Colyer. “I am establishing this Task Force to gather information, research solutions, and come up with real quantifiable results for the people of Kansas. We must take the issue of substance use disorder seriously, and we must find a way to stop this scourge once and for all.”

The duties of the Task Force are the following:

o Gather information regarding substance use disorder within the state of Kansas, particularly regarding the growing number of opioid and heroin overdoses in the state;
o Evaluate and leverage existing resources, tools, and initiatives already established in the Kansas healthcare continuum, especially the work and recommendations of the Kansas
Prescription Drug and Opioid Advisory Committee;
o Investigate various response options, including distributing naloxone to first responders, more comprehensively utilizing prescribing data, and otherwise revising state policy as appropriate;
o Examine best practices for prevention, treatment, and recovery of at-risk individuals through early detection and education for patients;
o Advise and make recommendations to the Governor; and
o Assist in implementing and executing a statewide response.

The Task Force will be chaired by Greg Lakin, Chief Medical Officer at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and composed of the heads of 16 state agencies and offices, experts in the medical and law enforcement fields, and members chosen by the leadership of both parties in the House and Senate.

“I applaud Governor Colyer for establishing this Task Force to lead the charge against the tragic affliction of substance use disorder in our state,” said Chief Medical Officer Greg Lakin. “I look forward to working with the Governor and other members of the Task Force to find real solutions and measurable outcomes for our citizens suffering from these horrible disorders.”

The full text of the Executive Order can be found at:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 18-09 Task Force to Address Substance Use Disorders