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Houston Gaines, the newly elected representative for Georgia district 117, walks to his seat during the Brian Kemp inauguration on Monday, January 14, 2019, at McCamish Pavilion on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta. Kemp was inaugurated as the 83rd governor of Georgia at the event, along with several other statewide officers. (Photo/Christina R. Matacotta, crmatacotta@gmail.com).

State Representative Houston Gaines of District 117 was named the 2019 Champion of Recovery and friend of the Georgia Recovery Community by the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.

Gaines received the award for his work on House Bill 217, which authorizes syringe services programs in the state of Georgia.

“This measure is a critical step in tackling the opioid epidemic in our state, while also curbing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. This commonsense bill will save lives and lower healthcare costs for all Georgians,” Gaines said.

Gaines graduated from the University of Georgia in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the Terry College of Business and a B.A. in political science from the School of Public and International Affairs. While at UGA, Gaines served as the Student Government Association president from 2016-2017. In 2017, Gaines secured victory over Democratic Representative Deborah Gonzalez for state House District 117.

The award was presented at an event that launched The Georgia Recovers Project, a program geared towards ending social stigmas around drug addiction. The program is one of the first state programs of its kind, and is funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities via the Trump Administration’s federal Stop Opioid Abuse initiative.

The GCSA goal is to improve the quality of life for the more than 800,000 people who are in recovery in Georgia by recovering and expanding access to resources.

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