Senator Dave Cortese (D-CA) announced Monday his plans to propose legislation that would increase the availability of Narcan in areas with a high volume of youths.
Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is the medication administered to individuals actively overdosing on opioids.
Within minutes of administering the Narcan, the teens began breathing again. They were transported to a local hospital and later released to their parents. https://t.co/6TeAPxWz5O
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) November 6, 2022
The bill, which Cortese will introduce in the upcoming December session, also focuses on raising awareness of the dangers presented by the deadly drug.
Cortese explained that the legislation would guide counties to establish Behavioral Health Advisory Councils, form fentanyl prevention groups within schools and provide schools with Narcan kits as well as training on how to properly use them.
“We can’t continue to wait for more youth to fall victim to the deadly impact of fentanyl, and we must take action now,” Cortese told the press on Monday.
Cortese’s proposal could be in response to a recent Mercury News report claiming fentanyl deaths in California accounted for one out of every five deaths for 15 to 24-year-olds in 2021. According to the state-run “Overdose Surveillance Dashboard,” California had nearly 7,000 opioid-related deaths that same year.
Fentanyl is particularly lethal for two key reasons. First, the drug is used to lace other recreational drugs like Xanax or Adderall. The result has been an increasing number of opioid overdoses where the victim unknowingly ingested fentanyl and died as a result.
To make matters worse, fentanyl has a potency that’s off the charts. In fact, it can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, one kilogram of fentanyl has the power to kill half a million people.
At least seven teenagers belonging to the Los Angeles Unified School District suffered suspected fentanyl overdoses in a one-month span, according to a September Los Angeles Times report.
Suffice it to say, Cortese’s upcoming legislation can’t come soon enough for the state of California.