President Requests Input From Eric Watson, As Part Of National Law And Criminal Justice Committee

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Representative Eric Watson has been invited to give official input on the White House National Drug Control Strategy. This is the second year that Representative Watson has been selected concerning a national issue.  Last year, Vice President Joe Biden requested that he be a part of a 25 member delegation on human sex trafficking.  This year, the president has officially requested input from Representative Watson as part of the White House National Drug Control Strategy’s war on drugs.

Rep. Watson said, “It is an honor to represent Tennessee at the White House.  This opportunity will allow me to assist in the advancement of the drug control strategies and to bring what my colleagues and I have done in the Tennessee General Assembly.  Tennessee is only one of two states to use the Controlled System Monitoring Database and I feel that this is a key element that the nation would benefit from as well.

"As chairman of the House Criminal Practice Committee, my 2014 goals is to prevent illicit drug use in our communities; to intervene early in the health care system; to strengthen drug treatment services; break the cycle of drug use, crime and incarceration; disrupt the domestic drug production and trafficking; and improve drug-related information systems.

"Tennessee enacted the Prescription Safety Act in 2012 with the passage of HB2391 which became Public Chapter 880, making it one of only two states that require all pharmacies to report any Schedule II, III, IV, or V prescriptions filled to the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database, or CSMD.  A physician is also required to check the CSMD prior to prescribing one of the controlled substances and annually when the prescribed substance remains part of the treatment.

"Recently, the Tennessee Department of Health surveyed Tennessee prescribers.  Almost 80% said that they think the CSMD is useful for decreasing the incidence of doctor shopping.  Over 70% said they have changed a proposed treatment plan for a given patient after viewing the information found in the CSMD.  Nearly 72% said they are more likely to discuss substance abuse issues/concerns with their patients.  Given these figures, I feel that we are seeing positive results immediately.

"A number of physicians have requested that we find ways to protect them when a person picks up a fake prescription and has used the doctor's name and/or DEA number.  Patients must present a current and valid government issued identification or current health insurance card issued by either a government or private insurer in receiving prescriptions.  Without identification required, it is virtually impossible to identify who actually picked up the fake prescription.  This does not require the patient be the only person who can pick up the prescription, it just allows the pharmacist to be able to identify who actually picked up the drugs and would minimize impersonators from getting them. ” 

Rep. Watson is chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee and serving his fifth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He lives in Cleveland and represents Bradley, Meigs, and Polk Counties.  In 2012, he was appointed to the Tennessee Criminal Justice Council to focus on law enforcement needs across the state.  He is also a graduate of the 2012 TBI State Academy inaugural class in which he was elected class president. He also serves as a law enforcement officer in Tennessee.


Holiday Cards Needed For Local Troops

The American Red Cross of Tennessee is once again launching its annual Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign. The initiative, led by volunteers, involves the collection of thousands of cards from across the country. These cards are then distributed to local service members, veterans, and their families. The campaign is an effort to encourage people to “Give Something That Means ... (click for more)

Firefighters And Red Cross Volunteers To Install Free Smoke Alarms Saturday

Chattanooga firefighters, along with staff and volunteers with the American Red Cross, will distribute free smoke alarms and batteries on Saturday, in the Washington Hills subdivision. This event will happen, rain or shine. The operation will originate from the parking lot of the Gujarati Samaj of East Tennessee, at 7717 Canyon Drive, off Bonny Oaks. This event will start ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex Fetches $15 Million

Walnut Commons, the first downtown apartment complex built in many years, sold for $15 million, one of the developers said. John Clark said the initial estimate on the project was $11 million and it wound up costing around $12 million to build. "We're very pleased with the sale," he said. Mr. Clark, along with partners David Hudson and Bob McKenzie, are selling their stock ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Principal Ronald Hughes Named Tennessee's 2014-15 Principal Of The Year

A Hamilton County elementary school principal and an Anderson County supervisor have earned top honors for their work in Tennessee education. Ronald Hughes, principal of Apison Elementary School in Chattanooga, was named Tennessee’s 2014-15 Principal of the Year. He has served as principal at Apison Elementary for the past six years, and spent three decades working in Tennessee ... (click for more)

Congratulations To Ron Hughes

Hearty congratulations to Ron Hughes for being selected as Tennessee State Elementary Principal of the Year for 2014. Wherever Ron has been assigned as principal, he has exhibited strong leadership both academically and morally. His faith in God and his love for the students of Hamilton County have guided his actions and everyone that has benefited from the excellent education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Brittany’s Days Dwindle

So here we are, facing what is known as “Devil’s Night” before Halloween comes, and the almost macabre news now comes that Brittany Maynard, the beautiful girl who has chosen to end her life as soon as Saturday, is struggling to meet her own deadline. She has inoperable brain cancer and, at best, only months to live. The 29-year-old, who was married shortly before her devastating ... (click for more)