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California State Legislature Declares Overdose Awareness Week

Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris Launches Petition to Stem Drug Trafficking

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine) presented Assembly House Resolution 121 to proclaim the week of August 29, 2022 as Overdose Awareness Week in California, a week to recognize and commemorate individuals who have lost their lives to overdose, as well as supporting families and those struggling with substance use disorder. The resolution passed the State Assembly. Advocates and organizations will be taking action by sharing statistics and personal stories to shine a light on the issue that is destroying lives and communities with a single pill.

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris said, “Here in California, about 10,000 people died of a drug overdose in the year-long period ending in April 2021. We must increase awareness because these are not just numbers and statistics, but real human lives that are being lost. With this resolution, we can unite the federal government’s recognition of overdose awareness and the international day of August 31. We are taking the necessary step to recognize those impacted, but there is still more action for the Legislature to take.”

Wendy McEntyre of Jarrod’s Law Organization said, "When I started this journey in requesting that California, like other states, should raise awareness for substance use disorders and overdose fatalities, there was a death every 9 minutes. Today, it's every 5 minutes. The stigma is alive and well, you think you're the only person in the whole world whose kid ... or spouse has this disorder but our community is struggling. Whether people know it or not, they've been affected. It is very important for us to make our generations aware of overdose to prevent them. Overdose awareness is important to save our today and our tomorrow. It's a time to remember, time to act.”

John Ryan, CEO of Penington Institute said, “As convenors of International Overdose Awareness Day on 31 August, the world’s largest campaign to end overdose, Penington Institute warmly welcomes the California State Legislature House Resolution in commemoration of Overdose Awareness Week. We commend Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris for her efforts as primary sponsor of the resolution. This is a global issue and it is absolutely critical that we see the type of leadership demonstrated by Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris to acknowledge and take action to end this crisis.”

Jaime Puerta, the President of VOID said, “Far too many children, exactly like my 16 year old son Daniel, are being deceived to death by these nefarious actors who knowingly and willingly peddle this poison disguised as pharmaceutical grade trademarked pills to unsuspecting children and they’re getting away with Murder. We need to keep these Murderers accountable for their actions.”

Amy Neville of Orange County, California said, "Fentanyl is being used to counterfeit drugs so commonly that fatality rates are increasing exponentially. Parents can't sit back and wait any longer watching this crisis unfold — it is an emergency, and the government needs to treat it as such."

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said, “We all have a role to play in addressing the fentanyl crisis. As a community we should take the opportunity of this week to talk to our children about the dangers of fentanyl and the importance of living drug free. Lawmakers also have a responsibly to act. The California Legislature needs to pass legislation to strengthen penalties for trafficking this deadly, illicit drug.”

Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Masimo Corporation said, “We need to act quickly to address the opioid epidemic in our country and we are relieved to see Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris is taking a proactive approach. At Masimo, we are arming clinicians and consumers with innovations to help them battle this silent killer."

Sunday, August 21, was the first Fentanyl Awareness and Prevention Day in Orange County. As advocates are working together to increase awareness, Assemblymember Petrie-Norris is asking for signatures on a petition to end fentanyl poisoning by increasing penalties on drug traffickers. This is an epidemic that leaves death, destruction and heartache in its wake. Every Californian deserves the chance to live a full, healthy life. House Resolution 121 is crucial to increase support for our friends, family and neighbors who are battling addiction. To truly stem this epidemic, we must establish 20 years to life as the penalty for the distribution of fentanyl resulting in death. We need to show that the consequences will be as severe as the crime and it is incumbent upon California’s leaders to take action to end this crisis.

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris represents the 74th District including all or parts of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach, Irvine, and Laguna Woods. She is the Chair of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and the Select Committee on Student Debt. Follow the Assemblywoman on Twitter or on Facebook