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Dec 13, 2023

TABC launches new Opioid-Related Drug Overdose training course

AUSTIN — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has launched a new training course intended to help certain alcohol retailers recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and give them the skills to intervene with lifesaving measures.

The course was developed by the agency after a new law took effect on Sept. 1, 2023. Senate Bill 998, authored by state Sen. Royce West and adopted by the 88th Texas Legislature, requires certain Mixed Beverage and Private Club permit holders, and certain members of their staff, to complete an opioid overdose training course provided by TABC each year.

The law was crafted in response to the ongoing opioid crisis in America. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 150 Americans die each day from opioid-related overdoses, including illegally produced opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

“Texas continues to lead the fight against the fentanyl crisis that is plaguing our state and our nation,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “With this new Opioid-Related Drug Overdose training course, we will help ensure alcohol retailers and their staff know how to keep their customers safe from fentanyl and other opioid poisonings. I thank the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for their ongoing efforts in our comprehensive statewide ‘One Pill Kills’ campaign. Their hard work, and the new laws I signed this year, will help save the lives of Texans each and every day.”

Abbott signed SB 998 into law in June. West, whose Senate district includes portions of Dallas County, said his bill is aimed at reducing overdose deaths across Texas.

“Not a week passes without hearing of another opioid-related death. The course developed by TABC following the passage of SB 998 will instruct those who work in venues where alcohol is sold on how to identify a person in the stages of an opioid overdose and train them to administer an opioid antagonist,” West said. “SB 998 creates a safety net in this fight against the fentanyl and opioid-related deaths that continue to devastate our communities. SB 998 and the resultant training will help save lives.”

TABC’s Opioid-Related Drug Overdose course provides bar owners, managers, and their staff with an overview of opioid overdoses, including the symptoms and warning signs, as well as steps to take if they identify a person suffering from an possible overdose. The lifesaving steps include the administration of a medication called naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and save a life.

“Studies show that 1 in 4 Texans have experienced an overdose or know someone who has,” TABC Executive Director Thomas Graham said. “This training will support alcohol retailers with the knowledge and skills they need to both protect their customers from the harmful and sometimes lethal effects these drugs can have.”

TABC’s Opioid-Related Drug Overdose course is now available for free on the new TABC Education webpage:

Media Contact:

Chris Porter

TABC Director of Communications

(512) 206-3462