Legislation to Fight Opioid Crisis Approved by Assembly

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO—Assembly Bills 1751, 1752, and 1753 passed the Assembly today by bipartisan votes of 75-0, 76-0, and 76-0 respectively. Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) is the author of the three-bill package of legislation to fight the opioid crisis by addressing the overprescribing, diversion, and abuse of prescription drugs like opioids. These bills are part of a larger package of legislation aimed at combatting the opioid crisis.

AB 1751 creates a framework for connecting California’s prescription drug monitoring program (CURES) with other state databases; AB 1752 adds new drugs to the drug monitoring database and requires more real-time reporting of new prescriptions; and AB 1753 helps law enforcement combat fraudulently obtained prescription pads.

“Californians are dying needlessly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 50,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2016 – an increase of 28% over the prior year.  These death rates exceed those at the height of the AIDS epidemic,” said Assemblymember Low. “These three bills are a significant step toward ending this epidemic in California.”

Each day, the opioid epidemic claims 91 American lives. On top of that, it is estimated that over two million Americans struggle with opioid addiction. While California as a whole has not been the hardest hit, many rural counties in the state have some of the highest overdose rates in the country. For state and county overdose statistics, visit the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard

Assembly Bills 1751, 1752, and 1753 will next be heard in the Senate.