Sen. Merv Riepe of Ralston has been chosen as one of 25 leaders on opioid addiction and overdose issues to participate in the National Conference of State Legislatures' inaugural opioid policy fellowship.

Riepe, chairman of the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, has had more than 30 years of professional experience as a hospital administrator.

"While the opioid crisis has not afflicted Nebraska as severely as other states," Riepe said, "it is important to collaborate nationally to develop and implement new policies and strengthen existing policies that will help prevent the crisis from impacting our state further."

Gov. Pete Ricketts said Nebraska has been a leader in proactively combating opioid addiction, with the Legislature playing a key role in abuse prevention.