April 22, 2021 – The State Senate Republicans noted they are fighting to combat the deadly fentanyl epidemic, while their Senate Democrat colleagues appear to be normalizing substance abuse. “Missing from this bill are any strategies to appropriately utilize methadone alternatives, mandatory treatment protocols, onsite drug counseling, or even efforts to gradually wean an addict off the cycle of dependence,” bill analysis in opposition to SB 57 says.

“This is like giving a person struggling with alcoholism a gift card to BevMo. The Democrats are the party of enablers right now – and at taxpayer expense,” said Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita). “Instead of robust efforts to help drug addicts kick the habit, Senate Democrats are throwing everyone under the bus in a ‘feel good’ push to embrace the addict rather than help them get housed, healed, and back to productive life. There is zero consideration for the neighborhoods in which these sites will operate, the victims of crimes resulting from addicts roaming the streets, or the families of individuals struggling with addiction who are praying their loved one gets treatment rather than drugs.”

It is evident Sen. Wiener is concerned about drug addiction as well as the dramatic increase in drug overdoses just since 2019, attributable to the lockdown, however reaching a solution is where Wiener and others don’t see eye-to-eye.

Wiener said: “In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and in California, the already alarming rate of drug overdose is worsening. A recent study of Emergency Medical Services data in the Journal of the American Medical Association found overdose rates were doubled in May of 2020, compared to 2019. More than 40 states have documented increases in opioid overdoses since the beginning of shelter in place. OPPs, also called supervised consumption services, are a necessary intervention to prevent overdose deaths. Approximately 165 OPPs exist in ten countries, and have been rigorously researched and shown to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use, including public drug use, discarded syringes, HIV and hepatitis infections, and overdose deaths.”



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