New law requiring Narcan in rehab facilities partially penned by DA’s office (AB381)

by: City News Service

Posted: Oct 4, 2021 / 01:59 PM PDT / Updated: Oct 4, 2021 / 02:58 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Monday a bill, supported by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, that will require licensed alcohol and drug residential treatment facilities to maintain, on premises, at least two doses of naloxone or a similar drug approved for the treatment of an opioid overdose.

Assembly Bill 381, authored by Assemblywoman Laurie Davies, R-Laguna Niguel and supported by Stephan’s office, also requires a staff member to be on the premises who has been trained on how to administer naloxone.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is a nasal spray that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. According to Stephan, people who have become addicted to opioids often enter drug treatment facilities, but suffer a high rate of relapse, which often occurs within the treatment facilities themselves.

Deputy District Attorney Shawn Tafreshi was instrumental in drafting language for AB 381.

“This is a common-sense law that will help save the lives of people who are trying to overcome their addiction,” Stephan said. “We are in the middle of the worst drug abuse crisis in American history and people across San Diego County, including residents of treatment facilities, are dying too often because of drug overdoses directly related to the fentanyl crisis.”

The genesis of this legislation and draft language came from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, which recognized a need for the law given the dozens of overdose deaths that occur each year at rehabilitation centers in the county.

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