Bill Text

Bill Information


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-362 Controlled substances: overdose prevention program.(2019-2020)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 06/26/2020 09:00 PM
AB362:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 26, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 25, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 362


Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman
(Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu, Friedman, and Wood)

February 04, 2019


An act to add and repeal Section 11376.6 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to controlled substances.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 362, as amended, Eggman. Controlled substances: overdose prevention program.
Existing law makes it a crime to possess specified controlled substances or paraphernalia. Existing law makes it a crime to use or be under the influence of specified controlled substances. Existing law additionally makes it a crime to visit or be in any room where specified controlled substances are being unlawfully used with knowledge that the activity is occurring, or to open or maintain a place for the purpose of giving away or using specified controlled substances. Existing law makes it a crime for a person to rent, lease, or make available for use any building or room for the purpose of storing or distributing any controlled substance. Existing law authorizes forfeiture of property used for specified crimes involving controlled substances.
This bill would, until January 1, 2026, authorize the City and County of San Francisco and the City of Oakland to approve entities to operate overdose prevention programs for persons 18 years of age or older that satisfy specified requirements, including, among other things, providing a hygienic space supervised by health care professionals, as defined, where people who use drugs can consume preobtained drugs, providing sterile consumption supplies, and providing access or referrals to substance use disorder treatment. The bill would require the City and County of San Francisco, Francisco and the City of Oakland, prior to authorizing an overdose prevention program in its jurisdiction, to provide local law enforcement officials, local public health officials, and the public with an opportunity to comment in a public meeting. The bill would require any an entity operating a program to provide an annual report to the city or the city and county, as specified. The bill would exempt a person from, among other things, civil liability, professional discipline, or existing criminal sanctions, solely for actions, conduct, or omissions in compliance with an overdose prevention program for adults authorized by the city or the city and county.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the City and County of San Francisco. Francisco and the City of Oakland.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Overdose deaths in California are an urgent public health crisis. Overdose has been the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and in California each year since 2011.
(b) Overdose prevention programs (OPPs) are an evidence-based harm reduction strategy that allow individuals to consume drugs in a hygienic environment under the supervision of trained staff, who are able to intervene if the patient overdoses. OPPs also provide sterile consumption equipment and offer general medical advice and referrals to drug treatment and other community social services.
(c) There are approximately 165 overdose prevention programs operating in 10 countries around the world, and numerous peer-reviewed studies have confirmed that those programs are effective in reducing overdose deaths and HIV transmission, and in increasing access to counseling, treatment, and other risk reduction services. Research has also demonstrated that those programs decrease use of emergency medical services, reduce public drug use, reduce syringe debris, and do not increase crime or drug use.
(d) An analysis published in the Journal of Drug Issues in 2016 found that, based on the experience of an OPP in Vancouver, a proposed OPP in San Francisco would be highly cost effective, reducing government expenses associated with health care, emergency services, and crime, saving two dollars and thirty-three cents ($2.33) for every dollar spent. It is estimated that one OPP would save the City and County of San Francisco three million five hundred thousand dollars ($3,500,000) in other costs.
(e) An increase in overdose deaths is being observed nationwide in 2020 according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, rising 16.6 percent this year, based on a comparison of January to April, inclusive, of 2019 with the same time frame of 2020.
(f) As demands for reform of the criminal legal system reverberate around the country, OPPs offer an alternative framework for addressing both drug use as well as the enforcement of drug laws that is generally targeted at communities of color. OPPs bring people inside to a safe and therapeutic space, instead of leaving them vulnerable to police intervention, arrest, and incarceration.
(g) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the health and safety of communities by evaluating the health impacts of OPPs in San Francisco and Oakland. It is the intent of the Legislature to prevent fatal and nonfatal drug overdoses, reduce drug use by providing a pathway to drug treatment, as well as medical and social services for high-risk drug users, many of whom are homeless or uninsured or very low income, prevent the transmission of HIV and hepatitis C, reduce nuisance and public safety problems related to public use of controlled substances, reduce emergency room use and hospital utilization related to drug use, reserving precious space, including intensive care beds, for treatment of COVID-19, and other life-threatening conditions.
(h) Further, it is the intent of the Legislature that OPPs should be evaluated in California cities that authorize them, as OPPs show great promise to save lives, enhance public safety, improve access to drug treatment, medical care, and related services, reduce emergency department and hospital utilization related to drug overdose, and reduce the human, social, and financial costs of epidemics of drug misuse, homelessness, and COVID-19.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 11376.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

11376.6.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the City and County of San Francisco and the City of Oakland may approve entities within its jurisdiction their jurisdictions to establish and operate overdose prevention programs for persons 18 years of age or older that satisfy the requirements set forth in subdivision (c).
(b) Prior to approving an entity within its jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (a), the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland shall provide local law enforcement officials, local public health officials, and the public with an opportunity to comment in a public meeting. The notice of the meeting to the public shall be sufficient to ensure adequate participation in the meeting by the public. The meeting shall be noticed in accordance with all state laws and local ordinances, and as local officials deem appropriate.
(c) In order for an entity to be approved to operate an overdose prevention program pursuant to this section, the entity shall demonstrate that it will, at a minimum:
(1) Provide a hygienic space supervised by health care professionals where people who use drugs can consume preobtained drugs. For purposes of this paragraph, “health care professional” includes, but is not limited to, a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, licensed vocational nurse, registered nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, licensed professional clinical counselor, mental health provider, social service provider, or substance use disorder provider, trained in overdose recognition and reversal pursuant to Section 1714.22 of the Civil Code.
(2) Provide sterile consumption supplies, collect used hypodermic needles and syringes, and provide secure hypodermic needle and syringe disposal services.
(3) Administer first aid, if needed, monitor participants for potential overdose, and provide treatment as necessary to prevent fatal overdose.
(4) Provide access or referrals to substance use disorder treatment services, medical services, mental health services, and social services.
(5) Educate participants on the risks of contracting HIV and viral hepatitis.
(6) Provide overdose prevention education and access to or referrals to obtain naloxone hydrochloride or another overdose reversal medication approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
(7) Educate participants regarding proper disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes.
(8) Provide reasonable security of the program site.
(9) Establish operating procedures for the program, made available to the public either through an internet website or upon request, that are publicly noticed, including, but not limited to, standard hours of operation, a minimum number of personnel required to be onsite during those hours of operation, the licensing and training standards for staff present, an established maximum number of individuals who can be served at one time, and an established relationship with the nearest emergency department of a general acute care hospital, as well as eligibility criteria for program participants.
(10) Train staff members to deliver services offered by the program.
(11) Establish a good neighbor policy that facilitates communication from and to local businesses and residences, to the extent they exist, to address any neighborhood concerns and complaints.
(12) Establish a policy for informing local government officials and neighbors about the approved entity’s complaint procedures, and the contact number of the director, manager, or operator of the approved entity.
(d) An entity operating an overdose prevention program under this section shall provide an annual report to the city or the city and county, that shall include all of the following:
(1) The number of program participants.
(2) Aggregate information regarding the characteristics of program participants.
(3) The number of hypodermic needles and syringes distributed for use onsite.
(4) The number of overdoses experienced and the number of overdoses reversed onsite.
(5) The number of persons referred to drug treatment.
(6) The number of individuals directly and formally referred to other services and the type of service.
(e) Notwithstanding any other law, a person or entity, including, but not limited to, property owners, managers, employees, volunteers, clients or participants, and employees of the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland acting in the course and scope of employment, shall not be arrested, charged, or prosecuted pursuant to Section 11350, 11364, 11365, 11366, 11366.5, or 11377, or subdivision (a) of Section 11550, including for attempt, aiding and abetting, or conspiracy to commit a violation of any of those sections, or otherwise be penalized solely for actions, conduct, or omissions on the site of an overdose prevention program approved by the City and County of San Francisco, Francisco or the City of Oakland, or for conduct relating to the approval of an entity to operate an overdose prevention program, or the inspection, licensing, or other regulation of an overdose prevention program approved by the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland pursuant to subdivision (a).
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, a person or entity, including, but not limited to, property owners, managers, employees, volunteers, clients or participants, and employees of the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland acting in the course and scope of employment shall not be subject to civil, administrative, disciplinary, employment, credentialing, professional discipline, contractual liability, or medical staff action, sanction, or penalty or other liability, or have their property subject to forfeiture, solely for actions, conduct, or omissions in compliance with an overdose prevention program approved by the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland or for conduct relating to the approval of an entity to operate an overdose prevention program, or the inspection, licensing, or other regulation of an overdose prevention program approved by the City and County of San Francisco or the City of Oakland pursuant to subdivision (a).
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2026, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the unique needs of the City and County of San Francisco. Francisco and the City of Oakland.