By Sunny Zhou
SAN DIEGO, CA – Gov. Gavin Newsom released his administration’s master plan for tackling the fentanyl and opioid crisis following a visit to the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week.
According to the administration, the master plan utilizes Governor Newsom’s $1 billion investment dedicated to addressing the opioid crisis, which included an expansion of California National Guard-supported operations that resulted in a 594 percent increase in seized fentanyl last year.
“The U.S. has faced an evolving crisis of opioid addiction, overdose, and death for over two decades, driven by Big Pharma’s irresponsible marketing of prescription opioids,” announced the Newsom administration. “Millions of Americans suffer from opioid use disorder and more than 71,000 Americans died in 2022 alone from fentanyl-linked overdoses and drug poisonings.”
“Over 150 people die every day in our nation from overdoses and poisonings related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Enough. With this master plan, California is doubling down to combat this crisis and save lives,” said Gov. Newsom.
The master plan outlines steps to support overdose prevention efforts, funding for legal settlements against the opioid pharmaceutical industry, the expansion for the California National Guard, and initiatives to educate and spread awareness about opioids.
The Governor’s 2023-24 proposed budget lists an additional $97 million investment to tackle the crisis, including $79 million for the Naloxone Distribution Project, which has helped reverse 130,000 opioid overdoses; $10 million in grants for education, testing, recovery, and support services; $4 million to increase the accessibility of fentanyl test strips; and $3.5 million in Prop 98 funding for overdose medication for all middle and high schools.
“Our comprehensive approach will expand enforcement efforts to crack down on transnational criminal organizations trafficking this poison into our communities,” said Newsom, “while prioritizing harm reduction strategies to reduce overdoses and compassionately help those struggling with substance use and addiction.”