Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains proposes bill to tackle California’s fentanyl crisis


Maddie Gannon | Contributor

As fentanyl continues to ravage Kern County and the nation, the issue is receiving increased political attention as lawmakers propose different plans on how to address the crisis.

Tuesday afternoon, Assemblymember Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano) presented her proposal for a fentanyl addiction and overdose prevention task force to the Assembly Health Committee.

“This is going to be a seat at the table for both health care providers and law enforcement in addition to prosecutors and district attorneys to have a voice to tell us where we’re failing in legislation to hold people accountable for trafficking drugs,” Dr. Bains told 17 News about her bill.

It comes as over the weekend while announcing a new contract to produce insulin in the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he hopes to make the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone in California, a move he says will make the drug cheaper and more easily available.

“Naloxone, each kit comes with two doses and it ranges in price from $50 to $75, so it’s not cheap,” Administrator for Substance Use Disorder at Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Ana Olvera said.

Olvera says Kern BHRS receives its naloxone through grants, adding that has allowed it to coordinate with county libraries to distribute the drug and provide training. Although Olvera says currently they are adequately supplied and it is much easier to obtain a free dose in Kern than at this point last year, there was a time when they faced a shortage.

“There was a spike in demand because of local events. We had that case of the student in junior high and we also had attention around North High and so those kind of local events really prompt more interest,” Olvera said.

Meanwhile, Assemblymember Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) told us more attention in Sacramento needs to be put on the drug coming across the border.

“We’ve had bill after bill, legislative proposal after legislative proposal to increase penalties on drug dealers, to provide law enforcement the support and tools they need to go after these bad actors. And the governor and his allies have stifled all of those attempts,” Fong said. “At the end of the day, what do we really need to do on top of that is to actually empower our law enforcement to go after these drug dealers and to ensure that fentanyl does not come over the border.”

Olvera emphasized the assistance Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery Services provides for those struggling, including a 24-hour access line at 1-866-266-4898.

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to The Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


More like this

Elizabeth Holmes enters Texas prison to begin 11-year sentence for notorious blood-testing hoax

Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes entered a Texas prison Tuesday where she could spend the next 11 years for overseeing a blood-testing hoax that became a parable about greed and hubris in Silicon Valley.

Florida police search for 3 gunmen who wounded 9 at crowded beach on Memorial Day

Police launched a search Tuesday for three suspects they believe to be the gunmen who opened fire along a crowded Florida beachside promenade on Memorial Day, wounding a 1-year-old and eight others while sending people frantically running for cover.

VA relaxes masking at health care facilities

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has relaxed the masking requirement at VA medical facilities. VA facilities will no longer universally require masks in most clinical areas.

Homicide (Update)

The victim in this investigation has been identified as Nilton Jacks Anaya Salcedo, 38 year-old male, resident of the city of Rancho Cucamonga.