On Monday, Senator Dave Cortese will hold a press conference to introduce a fentanyl bill modeled after Santa Clara County’s Fentanyl Working Group. He says his bill will set a state standard in attempting to prevent more fentanyl poisoning deaths.
With fentanyl overdoses responsible for one in five youth deaths in California last year, State Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) wants to scale-up fentanyl prevention programs statewide to support schools and youth organizations like Santa Clara County is now doing.
Senator Cortese will introduce a bill in the 2023-24 state legislative session with a statewide framework for preventing fentanyl poisonings that is largely modeled after what Santa Clara County’s Fentanyl Working Group is doing to get lifesaving Narcan or Naloxone training and distribution in schools along with creating a major informational campaign about fentanyl on all media platforms.
In the last year, Supervisor Cindy Chavez and Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen created and launched the Fentanyl Working Group comprised of addiction experts, doctors, educators, law enforcement, students, parents of children who have been poisoned by fentanyl-laced pills and more.
At monday’s press conference, Senator Cortese will be joined by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and other members of the fentanyl working group to talk about the significance of the statewide fentanyl legislation and how it will decrease fentanyl poisonings.
There is still a great void of information for youth, parents, teachers and health care workers on the dangers of ordering pills and other narcotics online. A substantial number of youth have died because they ordered pills online that they didn’t know were laced with fentanyl.
According to the Working Group, in 2020, more than 93,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. were from fentanyl or another synthetic opioid, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Drug-induced deaths among people between the ages 15 to 35 have increased over the last 20 years. Fentanyl-involved deaths are the fastest growing among youth ages 14 to 23. In Santa Clara County, fentanyl overdose deaths rose from 29 to 90 from 2019 to 2020 and then to 135 deaths in 2021.
Note: The news conference will be at 11:00 am and streamted on Facebook Livestreamed @SupCindyChavez
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