CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — State Senate President Eli Bebout says opioid abuse in Wyoming will be one of his top priorities during the upcoming legislative budget session.

The Republican from Riverton says he believes Wyoming needs to start addressing the problem before it grows.

Bebout says he had observed the havoc wreaked by opioid abuse in other states and wants Wyoming to avoid the same fate.

He is hoping to pass legislation creating a taskforce to address the issue. That task force could suggest new laws or ways for the state to combat the issue before the 2019 session though Bebout says he's also open to taking more tangible actions when the Legislature meets this year.