7 GA Lawmakers to Study Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management

Seven Georgia lawmakers will meet with a handful of citizens to study alternatives to opioids for pain management thanks to a resolution that passed during the 2024 legislative session.

Speaker Jon Burns announced the members of the House Study Committee on Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management on Thursday.

This committee was created by legislation adopted during the 2024 session of the Georgia General Assembly.

Created by House Resolution 1360, the House Study Committee on Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management will explore methods to increase awareness of non-opioid alternatives, including non-opioid pharmacologic treatments, through educational programs for healthcare providers.

The committee aims to foster collaboration and integrated care among all healthcare providers involved in pain management. Additionally, the committee may propose legislative recommendations before the 2025 legislative session.

The full list of committee members is as follows.

House Study Committee on Alternatives to Opioids for Pain Management

  • Rep. Katie Dempsey – Chair (R-Rome)
  • Rep. Butch Parrish (R-Swainsboro)
  • Rep. Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville)
  • Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta)
  • Rep. Michelle Au (D-Johns Creek)
  • Rep. Lynn Gladney (D-Augusta)
  • Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta)

Non-Legislative Members:

  • Mr. Jeff Breedlove, a citizen representative from the Georgia Council for Recovery
  • Mr. Michael Persley, a citizen representative who serves in an executive role in the field of criminal justice, Chief of Police, Albany, Georgia
  • Dr. Armin Oskouei, a citizen representative who practices medicine as an independent physician whose specialty includes the treatment of acute pain, interventional spine physician
  • Mr. Jesse Weathington, a citizen representative who has expertise in healthcare costs and works in the insurance industry, President and CEO of Georgia Association of Health Plans
  • Mr. Adam Kaye, a citizen representative who has lost a family member to an overdose


  1. Taking away actual pain meds from people who actually need it is not going to stop drug addicts from getting drugs. It will however hurt innocent people that really need real pain control. I can say this not only as a patient but also as the mother of a drug addict. I hope all of these know it all jerks will find out what it means to have real and constant pain and not be able to get the needed help. Meds like Tramadol doesn’t touch real pain.

  2. These fools are going to create legislation that results in people with cancer and other incurable diseases suffering in agony because they can’t access the medication they need to control their pain. It’s so disgusting I could scream. I’m sick and tired of people with no medical knowledge making healthcare decisions for everyone else. Are any of these people physicians? Scientists? Researchers? No. They just think they have the right to dictate what we can do and how we can live. It’s disgusting. You can bet your backside their family members won’t be suffering.

  3. I’m 60 years old and suffer with chronic pain every day. There are no alternatives to real pain medicines. Every person is different and pain effects each of us in different ways. Stop treating us like experiments. If someone is abusing opioids deal with them directly. Making the rest of us suffer isn’t stopping the opioid epidemic. Lawmakers should use their time to figure out how to lower grocery prices.

  4. The government needs to stay outta our Healthcare some if us have issues that this is all that does work and although it doesn’t give us alot of relief it does let us have some quality of life so to say I’m a nurse I’m on my feet 14 to 18 hours a day I have a autoimmune disease that affects my muscles so I have to have my pain meds 4xs a day just so I can work my shifts

    • I wish one of these law makers could suffer from chronic neck/back pain, where only an OPIOD will take the edge off of the raw nerve and bone ache pain.. They wouldn’t last 1 day without relief. God help us all with chronic debilitating pain.

  5. They go after everything but the problem. That why fentenl has become such an problem. Treat people with pain, with pain medication. Tramdol, and other bull don’t work that’s why they are quick to offer it to you. Chronic pain suffer new to be treated with pain control, not excuses. I really hope these clown suffer for problem that they want to create. Let them get sick and see what sick people who need pain medication go thru

  6. I’m a cancer patient and have been on pill form morphine and need it 3x a day we just moved here and I’m so worried about them taking it away from me. And then I see this article. I have proven that I take my meds as directed.

  7. The vast majority of chronic pain patients have been required to exhaust every treatment modality before being referred to pain management Chronic pain patients are the only patient population treated like criminals for something they have absolutely no control over.

    No one in their right mind, knowing what chronic pain patients go through in an effort to try to get relief, would ever go through the US healthcare system to get treatment for chronic pain unless it was unavoidable, and unless there was no other legal and legitimate option.

    Chronic pain patients are doing things the right way and for their troubles, they’re harassed, ridiculed, abused and falsely labeled. Doctors and other healthcare workers are often hostile, rude, and lack any empathy toward people who are genuinely suffering. In the current anti-opioid climate, It’s not uncommon for people suffering with pain to be trespassed from hospitals and hospital emergency rooms.

    Keep in mind, chronic pain patients have often gone through years, if not decades of clean urine drug tests, of repeatedly trying medications and procedures they know don’t work because they have no other choice. They’ve gone above and beyond to prove themselves and continue to be treated like criminals.

    If chronic pain patients could avoid going into pain mgmt, they would. If they didn’t need medication they wouldn’t take it. If anything gave the same level of relief as opioids, they would avoid using prescription opioids. Unless you know first have what chronic pain patients go through, in order to have their pain treated, you have absolutely no right to propose people suffering shouldn’t be prescribed opioid analgesics.

    Chronic pain patients are people who are trying to do things the right way. They’re going through the healthcare system, they’re following their doctors instructions, they’re taking their medications as directed, and they’re law abiding citizens. They’re not turning to illicit drugs, they’re not stealing from family or friends, and they’re not turning to prostitution. They suffer in silence because our policy makers are too stupid to understand that since the publication of the 2016 CDC anti-opioid guidelines, prescriptions are down by more than 65% WHILE OVERDOSES from illicit DRUGS IS UP BY MORE THAN 600%!!!

    People who suffer with chronic pain go into pain management knowing it’s very likely they’re going to be ridiculed, harassed, and verbally bullied. They know that with every new doctor they’re going to be forced to go through every medication and procedure they’ve already gone through without benefit because they’ve been required to go through all of this before. Again, no one who could avoid it would ever put themselves through what chronic pain patients go through.

    Stop ignoring the facts. Opioid prohibition has been an utter disaster, and that’s the fault of policy makers. It’s time to stop being irresponsible and time to let doctors treat their patients without government interference.

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