Does SB 1109 adequately address the concerns surrounding California’s Opioid Epidemic?

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It has plagued both national and local headlines for years. The opioid epidemic has been catastrophic in terms of illnesses, injuries and deaths, and continues to get worse day-by-day.

Regrettably, San Diego has not been spared from the epidemic.

However, with the archetypal grit and determination which characterizes this great city, San Diego has resolved to tackle the problem forthwith with preventative measures rather than just reactionary, tentative solutions.

It has plagued both national and local headlines for years. The opioid epidemic has been catastrophic in terms of illnesses, injuries and deaths, and continues to get worse day-by-day.

Regrettably, San Diego has not been spared from the epidemic.

However, with the archetypal grit and determination which characterizes this great city, San Diego has resolved to tackle the problem forthwith with preventative measures rather than just reactionary, tentative solutions.

One such manifestation of this determination by San Diego and greater California is in the form SB 1109.

The bill seeks to address the opioid epidemic through education. There are four main tenets which characterize the bill.

It requires education on the effects and risks of opioid substances.

It mandates a warning label to alert consumers of its danger.

It requires physicians to instruct minors and their parents on the dangers of opioids before prescribing and it demands that youth athletic organizations provide a document outlining the dangers of opioid use to all active students and their parents and then have the parents sign those documents.

Overall, this certainly seems like a fairly holistic solution to the problem of uneducated consumers who might not fully realize the impact of the substances they are consuming.

Recently, passing the State Senate’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, it seems California legislators also agree that this is a good solution.

As with any good piece of California legislation, the bill has links to San Diego!

It is sponsored by the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. It hopes to, through educational means, reduce opioid overdoses and addictions across all California’s counties.

At this point, however, it is important to understand that while SB 1109 appears to address one aspect of the opioid epidemic, it does not represent a complete solution to it.

And that is reasonable.

One cannot reasonably expect one bill to single-handedly address the entire epidemic. It is very important that East County residents understand that such a bill is not a panacea, nor is it intended to be.

The issue of rehabilitation for opioid addicts still goes unaddressed and it will be incumbent upon lawmakers to provide a sensible solution to that, too.

SB 1109 certainly represents a step in the right direction – something we do not often see from California lawmakers – but the fight to cure San Diego and California of the opioid epidemic is still in full force and should remain so even if SB 1109 manages to become law.