The people's voice of reason

Joe Lovvorn introduces bill to educate students about fentanyl

An estimated 110,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2023. Illegal drugs have long been a prominent part of modern American culture; but drug over doses have climbed exponentially over the last decade – much of it due to fentanyl. In the last five years drug overdoses have risen to be one of the leading causes of death for 18 to 45 years old. It also kills a number of pregnant women.

Far too many Americans, use drugs and alcohol to artificially alter or enhance their moods and fentanyl found a willing populace here of people willing to try anything.

State Representative Joe Lovvorn (R-Auburn( has introduced legislation to educate young people about the dangers of fentanyl.

House Bill 280 (HB280), also known as the Price Hornsby Act, is designed to combat the growing fentanyl crisis affecting Alabama's youth. The legislation is named in honor of Price Hornsby, a 17-year-old high school student from Auburn, Alabama, whose life was tragically cut short due to fentanyl poisoning.

"The loss of Price Hornsby has been a devastating blow to our community, and it underscores the urgent need for comprehensive drug education and prevention strategies," said Rep. Lovvorn. "By introducing the Price Hornsby Act, we aim to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future and ensure that our children are educated about the lethal risks associated with fentanyl."

The Price Hornsby Act requires Alabama's public schools to provide research-based instruction on fentanyl prevention and drug poisoning awareness to students in grades six through 12. This initiative aims to arm our young people with the knowledge and tools they need in order to navigate the dangers of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids.

Price's parents, Ray and Lee Hornsby, hope to use their son's story to save lives.

"We want to encourage the Legislature to consider their children and grandchildren," said Mr. and Mrs. Hornsby. "Our family completely understands Price played a part in his death, but this substance is deadly. It is truly a parent's worst nightmare, so we're hopeful the "Price Hornsby Act" will save lives. We have a responsibility to guard, protect and educate the future generations."

Lovvorn has an extensive record of public service and dedication to the well-being of Alabama's citizens. As a first responder, Lovvorn is far too aware of how fentanyl and other synthetic opioids have changed reality for far too many of our young people.

If passed, the Price Hornsby Act will take effect in the 2024-2025 school year, providing a new layer of defense in the fight against drug abuse among our youth.

"Education is one of the most powerful tools we have in preventing drug addiction and its devastating effects," Lovvorn said. "Through the Price Hornsby Act, we honor the memory of those we've lost by committing to protect the lives of our future generations."

Former State Rep. Perry O. Hooper (R-Montgomery) spoke to the Alabama Gazette about this piece of legislation which he applauded.

"I congratulate Rep. Lovvorn for taking action to combat the dangers of fentanyl," said Hooper. "HB280 provides students with the knowledge they need to recognize the dangers of fentanyl and I encourage the legislature to pass this very timely piece of legislation."

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