Legislation to Allow New Treatment for Opioid Addiction Sent to Governor’s Desk

Friday, August 25, 2017

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, the State Assembly voted 78-0 to approve Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra’s (D-Pacoima) legislation to allow for new opioid and alcohol addiction drug treatment that is less addictive than treatment centers are allowed to use under current state law.  AB 395 would give treatment centers the ability to provide a new medication which "blocks" the body's desire for the drug, which is different from addiction medication that acts like the drug user needs.

“Opioid addiction has become a wide-spread epidemic, in particular for our younger population in the Greater Los Angeles Area,” said Assemblymember Bocanegra. “It is my hope that AB 395 will give people a road to recovery and stops opiate use before the problem gets worse.”

According to a Los Angeles Times report, more than 194,000 people have died since 1999 from overdoses involving opioid painkillers, and abuse of the drugs has contributed to a national resurgence into addiction to a more dangerous opiate, heroin.  Also, data provided by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development showed an increase in emergency room visits throughout Los Angeles County by millennials who use heroin, from 114 in the first nine months of 2010 to 237 for the exact time period in 2016.  And in Orange County, the numbers almost tripled from 81 to 206 for the same time period.  Across the country, opioid-related hospital visits rose to 99%. 

“The number of people visiting the ER for heroin and prescription abuse is an alarming trend and we must act soon to prevent more people from following the same fate, especially with the federal government now passing a healthcare bill that would be detrimental to treatment,” said Assemblymember Bocanegra.  “AB 395 is a step for people to get help and live a sober lifestyle.”

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

Raul Bocanegra is the Democratic Majority Whip in the California State Assembly.  He represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Granada Hills, Lakeview Terrace, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Shadow Hills, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar and the City of San Fernando.