Today, Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Bakersfield) released the following statement announcing that she plans to introduce legislation to increase naloxone access in high school and middle schools:
“Fentanyl is a deadly, destructive, disaster for our community and I want to do all we can to prevent another parent from losing a child to this evil drug.
“Today, I’m announcing plans to introduce new legislation that will help increase the availability of naloxone on school campuses, to ensure the life-saving medication is available to all students who may be in danger of an overdose. We’ll also work to provide additional resources for education and training – especially in our rural and disadvantaged school districts.
“It’s time we treat fentanyl like the crisis it has become and help empower our communities, schools and law enforcement with the tools they need to protect families and prevent these senseless deaths.”
From 1999 to 2016, the child mortality rate of opioid poisoning tripled, with other studies showing that the number of children admitted to the hospital due to opioid poisoning doubled. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 70,000 people have died from opioid drug overdoses nationwide. 5,348 of those deaths were in California—more than any other state.
This legislative session, Governor Newsom signed Senator Hurtado’s SB 367 which will reduce opioid-related overdose deaths at California public universities by requiring campuses to maintain nasal spray dosages of naloxone (an opioid overdose reversal medication) in campus health centers and providing educational resources on overdose prevention during campus orientation.