Legislation to Increase Opioid Preventative Education Becomes Law

Monday, September 24, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Senate Bill 1109, authored by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), was recently signed into law. SB 1109 will promote opioid preventative education and educate the public, especially young people and student athletes, by explaining the risk of addiction and overdose from prescription opioids. The San Diego County District Attorney’s office is the sponsor of the legislation.

“The opioid crisis is very real, but it can be prevented with proper education. I thank the governor for signing this critical legislation which will continue to bring awareness to a painful topic that has affected families throughout California.

“In my district, the mothers of Aaron Rubin and Jarrod Barber shared their sons’ stories about the deadly consequences of prescription drugs. Aaron survived and is now a quadriplegic, but Jarrod died from a prescription overdose. Both mothers actively supported my legislation and I am proud of the work that we did together to push for legislation that would help other parents from experiencing the same pain,” said Senator Bates.

Senator Bates partnered with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan to author SB 1109. In 2017, San Diego County had 273 unintentional prescription-related deaths, which is an increase from 253 in 2016.

“This is a common sense law that will protect people in our community by telling them the truth about the real risk of addiction and overdose from prescription opiates. The law is also important because it focuses on the duty of medical professionals and athletic school based programs on educating and informing minors and their parents about the risks of opiate based pain medications,” said District Attorney Stephan. “We’re proud to partner with Senator Bates to pass critical laws that address the increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in our community.”

Senate Bill 1109 would achieve four objectives:

  • Require continuing medical education for prescribers to include the risks associated with opioid use;
  • Require a flag or other notification mechanism on all Schedule II controlled substances prescription bottles warning of the associated addiction and overdose risks;
  • Require prescribers of an opioid to a minor to discuss risks with the minor’s parent or guardian before issuing the initial prescription; and
  • Require youth sports organizations to distribute a document annually highlighting the risks of opioid use to each student-athlete and their parent/guardian, and to obtain their parent/guardian’s signature.

Both Senator Bates and District Attorney Stephan co-authored a joint op-ed that was published in The Coast News.

Senator Patricia Bates represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.