Bill calls for increased education about opioid addiction and overdose

A bill introduced in the state Senate would require warning labels on opioid prescription bottles and require doctors and sports programs to provide more information to youths and their parents about the risk of addiction and overdose.

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The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1109, was drafted by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and introduced by state Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel.)

“Education is one of the most powerful weapons which we can use to reduce opioid-related tragedies,” Bates said in a statement. “I’m proud to work with District Attorney Summer Stephan on this bill to encourage better training for physicians and more information for patients. While this bill will not completely solve California’s opioid epidemic, it can help save lives as part of a broader legislative effort.”

Stephan said she’s talked with grieving parents who have lost kids to the epidemic and felt compelled to seek “clear and effective action to save future lives.” Telling consumers the truth about the real risk of addiction and overdose from prescription opiates is a common-sense solution, she said.

The bill would require physicians who prescribe the drugs to minors to discuss the risks with the child’s parents or guardians before issuing the prescription. It also would require youth sports organizations and schools to provide a document to athletes and their families outlining the risk of opioid use, which they will have to sign.

State public health officials say there were 1,925 opioid-linked overdose deaths in California in 2016.


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