Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2174 Heroin and Opioid Public Education (HOPE) Act.(2017-2018)

As Amends the Law Today

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the “HOPE Act.”

SEC. 2.

 Article 5 (commencing with Section 11774) is added to Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

Article  5. Heroin and Opioid Public Education (HOPE)
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) There is an epidemic in this state stemming from the use of heroin and the abuse of opioid medications.
(b) Prescription drug overdoses now kill more people than car accidents.
(c) Every day, 2,500 children 12 to 17, inclusive, years of age abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time, and more people are becoming addicted to prescription drugs.
(d) Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs public and private health insurers seventy-two billion eight hundred million dollars ($72,800,000,000) annually.
(e) In order for the state to combat this epidemic, citizens in all walks of life shall be alerted to the problem, and shall be armed with information that will allow them to recognize, and undertake appropriate actions, when they or their loved ones are at risk of, or are succumbing to, a heroin or opioid medication addiction.
(f) The widespread dissemination of information necessary to combat the state’s heroin and opioid medication epidemic could be successfully achieved through the institution and maintenance of a multicultural statewide public awareness campaign, which would be carefully coordinated through all available multimedia channels to reach a wide variety of audiences, including drug users, their family members and friends, medical practitioners and nurses, emergency personnel, and employers.
 (a) The State Department of Public Health, upon appropriation by the Legislature or receipt of adequate state or federal grant funding, and in consultation with stakeholders, as appropriate, shall develop, coordinate, implement, and oversee a comprehensive multicultural public awareness campaign, to be known as “Heroin and Opioid Public Education (HOPE),” which shall allow for the coordinated and widespread dissemination of information designed to combat the growing heroin and opioid medication epidemic in the state.
(b) Using the means described in subdivision (c), HOPE shall provide for the coordinated and widespread public dissemination of individual case stories and other generalized information that focuses on any of the following:
(1) Identifying the pathways that can lead to opioid medication abuse and heroin use, and the reasons why opioid medication abuse may evolve into heroin use.
(2) Showing the many faces of heroin and opioid medication addiction and rebutting the commonly accepted myths and stereotypes about heroin users and opioid medication abusers.
(3) Educating the public on the negative impact of abuse and diversion of opioid medication, while recognizing the legitimate use of those same opioid drugs as medications.
(4) Describing the effects and warning signs of heroin use and opioid medication abuse, so as to better enable members of the public to determine when help is needed.
(5) Showing the link that exists between heroin and opioid medication addiction and suicidal behavior.
(6) Identifying the pathways that are available for individuals to seek help in association with their own, or another person’s, heroin or opioid medication addiction, and indicating the various telephone hotline systems that exist in the state for persons who wish to report a case of drug abuse or engage in substance abuse treatment.
(7) Highlighting the availability of naloxone hydrochloride as a means to avert death from a heroin or opioid medication overdose, identifying pathways for members of the public to obtain a prescription for naloxone hydrochloride and training in the emergency administration of naloxone hydrochloride, and promoting the proper use of naloxone hydrochloride in crisis situations.
(8) Highlighting the benefits of substance abuse treatment and the potential for treatment to allow for the reclaiming of lives that have been upset by addiction, and underscoring the fact that relapses occur not because treatment is ineffective, but because of the nature of addiction, which is a recurring and relapsing disorder.
(9) Highlighting the benefits of medication-assisted therapy using medications approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, such as methadone, buprenorphine, extended-release injectable naltrexone, or other similar drugs, and destigmatizing the use of that medication-assisted therapy.
(10) Identifying the methods that can be used by an individual to help finance the costs of substance abuse treatment.
(11) Identifying the steps that individuals can take to prevent and deter family members, friends, students, patients, coworkers, and others from first experimenting with inappropriately obtained opioid medications, and from misusing or mismanaging lawful opioid medications.
(12) Identifying the proper methods for safeguarding, and for safely disposing of, legitimate opioid medications.
(13) Addressing any other issues that the department may deem appropriate and necessary to proactively educate the public about the state’s heroin and opioid medication epidemic and the actions that can be taken by members of the public to reduce the likelihood of heroin or opioid medication addiction, or to otherwise respond to, or mitigate the effects of, heroin or opioid medication addiction in cases in which it is present.
(c) (1) The HOPE program shall effectuate the dissemination of information described in subdivision (b) by using appropriate types of media to achieve the goal efficiently and effectively, including new technologies in media, print media, television and radio, and Internet and social media.
(2) In disseminating the information described in subdivision (b), the HOPE program shall employ a variety of complementary educational themes and messages that shall be tailored to appeal to different target audiences in the state. At a minimum, the HOPE program shall incorporate all of the following:
(A) At least one message that is directed at, and is tailored to influence and resonate with, individuals who are personally at risk of heroin use or opioid medication abuse or who have already started down a pathway to addiction.
(B) At least one message that is directed at, and is tailored to influence and resonate with, the family members and friends of addicted persons, teachers, school nurses, medical practitioners, and employers.
(C) At least one message that is directed at the dangers of teen drug pilfering from the household medicine cabinet and how this could be avoided through the use of safe storage products.
(3) Information under the HOPE program shall be disseminated using culturally and linguistically appropriate means, in a manner that demonstrates respect for individual dignity and cultural differences. Where feasible and appropriate, the information shall be made available in a variety of languages.
(4) The department may enter into public-private partnerships with pharmaceutical or health care insurance companies, nonprofit social services organizations, mental health services providers and clinics, law enforcement, health care agencies, and school districts, that provide services in the state in order to facilitate the dissemination of information under the HOPE program.
 (a) The department shall submit to the Governor and the Legislature on at least an annual basis, a report that summarizes the actions that have been undertaken by the department to implement this article and includes an assessment of the effectiveness of the program, including, but not limited to, effects on the rate of new opioid and heroin addictions by populations, mitigation of the effects of opioid or heroin addiction, crime rates, hospitalization rates, death rates, and other calculable results as determined by the department. The report shall provide any recommendations for legislative or executive action that may be necessary to facilitate the ongoing success of the program.
(b) A report to be submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this section shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
 The department may adopt regulations in accordance with the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) as necessary to implement this article.
 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.