California Colleges Required to Stock Fentanyl Tests Under New Law

California Colleges Required to Stock Fentanyl Tests Under New Law

Fentanyl test strips in a container and Narcan at The Legionnaire bar in Oakland, Calif., on March 3, 2022. (Nathan Frandino/Reuters)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

10/11/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

Some California colleges and universities will be required to stock fentanyl tests on school campuses after a bill was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom this week.
Mr. Newsom on Oct. 8 approved Assembly Bill 461—authored by Assemblyman James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino)—which requires California State Universities and community colleges to stock and distribute such tests along with information about how to use them.
University of California campuses are requested to comply under the law, but not required to do so.
The fentanyl tests are small strips of paper that can detect traces of the synthetic opioid in different drugs; a state Assembly analysis estimates the law will cost about $1.4 million annually.
Mr. Ramos said in a statement that the bill was “aimed at saving student lives and reducing the skyrocketing number of opioid fatalities among our young people.”
“One out of every five California youths aged 15 to 24 who died in 2021 were killed by a fentanyl overdose—either through the actual fentanyl use or by consuming another drug laced with fentanyl. The strips will prevent inadvertent taking of this lethal poison and assist in keeping students safe,” he said in an Oct. 9 statement.
California’s opioid-related deaths jumped more than 120 percent from 2019 to 2021, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.
Among the 7,175 opioid-related deaths in California in 2021, 11.6 percent were between the ages of 15 and 24.
A new vending machine in Brooklyn that will disperse fentanyl test strips and naloxone as well as hygiene kits, maxi pads, vitamin C, and COVID-19 tests for free  in New York on June 5, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A new vending machine in Brooklyn that will disperse fentanyl test strips and naloxone as well as hygiene kits, maxi pads, vitamin C, and COVID-19 tests for free  in New York on June 5, 2023. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

In Los Angeles Unified School District alone, at least seven students overdosed in the month of September in 2022 from the synthetic opioid fentanyl—including a 15-year-old girl who died—according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The new California law is the latest in a series of efforts by the state to reduce fentanyl overdose deaths.
Mr. Newsom’s 2023-24 state budget included a $3.5 million ongoing increase for at least two doses of naloxone—a nasal spray that treats an opioid overdose—to be stocked at every public middle and high school campus in the state.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.