press release

Legislation Addressing the Alarming Rise of Youth Fentanyl-Related Deaths and Overdoses Approved by the Assembly

May 15, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          

May 15, 2024                                                                                                                                    

CONTACT: Julia Estrada

(916) 319-2080

Legislation Addressing the Alarming Rise of Youth Fentanyl-Related Deaths and Overdoses Approved by the Assembly

Sacramento, California - The California Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Bill 2429, authored by Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego), with bipartisan support.  This legislation would require school districts in California to incorporate lessons on the dangers of fentanyl into their curriculum.

“Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 49, and its impact is felt across the nation and globe.” said Assemblymember Alvarez.  “AB 2429 underscores the importance of education in combating this crisis and ensures our youth are prepared to protect themselves and their communities.”

Fentanyl, initially intended for pain relief and anesthesia, morphed into the substance driving the deadliest drug epidemic in history. Opioid-related fatalities surged by 121% between 2019 and 2021, prompting significant state investment in mitigation efforts.  In San Diego County, fentanyl is to blame for 63% of all overdose deaths. AB 2429 aims to address this by mandating that school districts with existing health courses include comprehensive lessons on fentanyl's dangers in their curriculum, covering its basics, risk factors, identification of lacing, and response to overdose.

"The passing of Assembly Bill 2429 marks a crucial step in our efforts to educate young people about the dangers associated with fentanyl”, stated Chairwoman Nora Vargas of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Educating young people and students on the dangers of fentanyl is a critical harm prevention strategy and will help students be able to recognize fentanyl and assist in an emergency. There is no one-size solution to this crisis, but providing education about the dangers of fentanyl is a good first step. I want to thank Assembly Member David Alvarez for his leadership on this legislation and I look forward to continuing our work together to address this pressing issue and ensure the safety and well-being of our communities."

Assembly Bill 2429 is supported by San Diego County (Sponsor), County Health Executives Association of California (CHEAC), California Emergency Nurses Association, and California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance.

David Alvarez with District 80 residents


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