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.


Area Organizations Host Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb For Weekend Of ‘Justice And Peacemaking: From Gaza To Chattanooga’

Social justice organizations and churches are hosting Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb for a series of events tilted “Justice and Peacemaking: From Gaza to Chattanooga,” May 29 to May 31. All events are open to the public and four of the five events require no advance registration or admission fee.  Rabbi Gottlieb is one of the first 10 women rabbis in Jewish history. She is a life-long ... (click for more)

Civil War Historian To Speak At Rugby On June 6

Michael C. Hardy, an authority on the Civil War in the mountains of North Carolina and East Tennessee, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6, in the Historic Rugby Visitor Center’s Rebecca Johnson Theater. The author of twenty books, Mr. Hardy was named the 2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year by the North Carolina Society of Historians. He received the 2012 Alice Parker ... (click for more)

City Applying For Federal Grant To Extend River Trail To Moccasin Bend In $2.23 Million Project

The city is applying for a $1.6 million federal grant that would be a key part of the funding needed to extend a trail by the Tennessee River from Renaissance Park to Moccasin Bend. The city is seeking an Eastern Federal Highway Division grant to go along with $234,260 of city funds. The state portion would be $259,692.  Grants from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations ... (click for more)

Flora Tydings Selected As Chattanooga State’s Next President

Flora Tydings is expected to be named the next president to lead Chattanooga State Community College pending approval by the Tennessee Board of Regents at a special called meeting next Wednesday. The board will meet at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the TBR System Office in Nashville. Included on the agenda is TBR Chancellor John Morgan’s recommendation for Dr. Tydings to replace Interim President ... (click for more)

Don't Make A Mockery Of Memorial Day - And Response

We're told Memorial Day is the day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order that we, as Americans and others around the world, might live free, unshackled (invisible or otherwise) and without oppression. But how is that so when so many in America continue to be denied those freedoms? Others whose family and friends made the ultimate sacrifice? Their surviving families ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Great Orthopedic Success

Mark Freeman, the chief of orthopedic surgery at Erlanger Hospital, shared a dazzling look at our area’s Level One Trauma Center Friday morning. Yet, as he described the dramatic changes that have occurred in just the past 12 months, the promise of what will happen within the next year was even more appealing. Believe this, our flagship hospital is getting well in a hurry. “If ... (click for more)