Senate Republican Leader Bates' Opioid Education Bill Earns Bipartisan Support

Monday, April 16, 2018

SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Bill 1109, authored by Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) passed out of the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee with bipartisan support. SB 1109 would educate the public, especially those who are involved with youth, by explaining to them the risk of addiction and overdose from prescription opioids.

In response to the rising cases of opioid tragedies in San Diego County and throughout California, Senator Bates partnered with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan to craft SB 1109. Sherrie Rubin, a San Diego County mother, testified in support of the bill by discussing how it could help spare others from having to go through what her son, Aaron, experienced. Aaron was a star high school athlete who was unaware of OxyContin’s potency. He overdosed on the drug and nearly died. He is now a quadriplegic.

“Knowledge is power and I truly believe education is one of the most powerful weapons we can wield to save lives. I was heartbroken to hear about Aaron’s story and hope that by sharing his story, we will help save lives. I’m grateful to partner with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan on SB 1109 and I am hopeful that our bill will continue to receive bipartisan support as it goes through the legislative process,” said Leader Bates.

“Having personally talked with grieving parents who have lost children to this deadly epidemic, it’s time for clear and effective action to save future lives,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan. “This legislation brings common sense solutions that protect consumers by telling them the truth about the real risk of addiction and overdose from prescription opioids. It also focuses on the duty of medical professionals and athletic school based programs on educating and informing minors and their parents about the risks of opioid based pain medications.”

“As a parent I was never informed about the potential risks of opioids to myself or my children. A lack of perception of harm has fueled the opioid epidemic. SB 1109 will help educate us all about the dangerous and real potential consequences opioids can pose to everyone,” said Sherrie Rubin, supporter of SB 1109.

Senate Bill 1109 would achieve four objectives:

  • Require continuing medical education for prescribers to include the risks associated with opioid use;
  • Require warning labels on opioid prescription bottles that address the risk of addiction and overdose;
  • Require prescribers of an opioid to a minor to discuss risks with the minor’s parent or guardian and obtain consent before issuing the initial prescription; and
  • Require youth sports organizations that have athletic programs to annually give a document highlighting the risks of opioid use to each student-athlete and their parent/guardian, and to have the student-athlete and their parent/guardian sign the document.

Click here to read a joint op-ed on SB 1109 authored by Senator Bates and San Diego County District Attorney Stephan as published in The Coast News Group.