Public Health and Safety Action for Preventing Deaths from Illicit Drugs and Providing Meaningful Treatment

Ryan Hampton, Candidate for Nevada Assembly, District 4

Drug fatalities are at an all-time high—and Nevada has been hit especially hard. Assembly candidate and recovery advocate Ryan Hampton prioritizes high impact strategies that are pragmatic and bipartisan. Ryan believes in building communities that are healthy, resilient, and safe. The loss of life is staggering and unacceptable, and something must be done now—and Ryan is ready to tackle this issue.


“Ryan Hampton has always been a champion for others. While he is nationally known for his willingness to help anyone—regardless of their background—Ryan is committed to serving the critical needs of his beloved Nevada in the legislature. I am honored to fully support Ryan and I know he will serve his community well when he is elected.”

-James W. Carroll
Former Trump White House Deputy Chief of Staff
Former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (Trump Administration)


"Mr. Hampton through both his lived experience and his expert understanding of the issues, has developed a comprehensive and compassionate strategy to the crisis that is affecting not only Nevadans—but the whole country. Ryan has been a leader in our field, and I know he will bring those skills to bear on every issue he works on."

-Michael Botticelli
Former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (Obama Administration) 


Ryan’s Action Plan to tackle the drug crisis in Nevada:

  1. Education and Prevention: Deaths among young people are rising fast due to counterfeit pills that contain deadly doses of fentanyl. Illicit drugs are now the number one cause of death for people ages 18-45. Young people use these pills without knowing that they may contain fatal drugs. That’s why Nevada needs a new and improved drug education curriculum that can close this deadly information gap.
  2. Expand Recovery Access: 69 percent of Nevadans who died from an overdose had at least one potential opportunity for linkage to care before their death. These are missed opportunities to save lives. Nevada is behind the curve when it comes to recovery access and must expand and modernize our behavioral health infrastructure. This includes access to results-driven treatment, recovery community organizations, recovery housing, support groups, faith-based programs, and other recovery pathways well supported by evidence and efficacy.
  3. Fix a Broken Health Care System: Nevada must enforce parity laws that guarantee insurance companies cover mental health and addiction treatment the same way they do for any other chronic health condition. Medicaid reimbursement rates are also far too low, leaving people without access to quality and affordable care. When people are ready for treatment, we cannot let these barriers get in their way.
  4. Recovery Peers: Ryan knows firsthand how complex it can be to navigate a mental health crisis, drug overdose, or substance use disorder. That’s why we must integrate and embed peer recovery workers throughout our systems of care. Peers are compassionate, knowledgeable, and ready to help people navigate a tough road ahead.
  5. Recovery Ready Workforce: Ryan knows how good paying jobs offering meaningful work can help sustain a life of recovery. A recovery-ready workplace supports workers recovering from substance use disorder, reduces stigma, and improves a company’s bottom line. Nevada business leaders, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits can make a huge difference in people’s lives while improving the finances of the employer. Businesses must be given the tools and incentives to expand employment for the thousands of people who are on the road to recovery.
  6. Naloxone Access: 45 percent of overdoses in Nevada occurred with a bystander present and 80 percent of overdoses occurred within a home. This means we must be doing more to get the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone in as many hands as possible. Overdose deaths are preventable, and we must be doing more.
  7. Drug Checking & Testing: Nevada’s illicit drug supply is contaminated with deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Investing in state-of-the-art drug checking technology is a smart and practical way to broadcast critical and timely alerts when dangerous substances are found.
  8. Expand Specialty Courts: Nevada can break the cycle of addiction that tears families apart. That’s why Nevada has long invested in problem-solving courts that get at the root causes of crime. These courts offer support, and supervision to help people get their lives back on track—while following the rule of law.
  9. Assist Law Enforcement: Police departments and law enforcement officials feel overburdened with too many tasks unrelated to solving and fighting violent crimes. Responding to an endless stream of drug overdoses and mental health crises is taxing on officers and lowers morale—and strains emergency police response times. Nevada can do more to aid police officers by deploying trained crisis workers along with peer-recovery workers to calls that warrant their expertise, easing the burden put on officers who confront daily trauma.
  10. Treatment in Jails: People recently released from correctional centers are 129 times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than the general public. That’s why jails and prisons must treat opioid use disorder with the gold-standard of care that utilizes medications that are proven to increase chances at recovery, reduce recidivism, and improve quality of life.
  11. Support Veterans: Veterans are twice as likely to die from drug overdose as the general population, and more likely to suffer from mental health challenges. There are too many tragic stories involving veterans and their families who do not receive help when they need it. Nevada must do more to pay back those who served.
  12. Strong Economy: Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that overdose deaths are most pronounced in counties with high levels of income inequality. People often resort to substances to cope with the stress of financial insecurity, unemployment, and economic anxiety. A strong and healthy economy results in strong, resilient, and healthy communities.
  13. Enrich Childhood: Children who face stressful childhoods full of adversity are ten times more likely to succumb to substance use disorder later in life than those who grow up in stable and secure homes. Investing in early childhood enrichment programming can go a long way to ensuring children grow up in safe, secure, and positive environments.