Drug abuse is a massive problem in the state of California and across the country. In particular, opioid abuse has skyrocketed over the last few years. According to recent statistics, almost 2,000 California residents die from opioid overdoses every year. Lawmakers in California have passed 14 new laws in the last year in an attempt to significantly reduce these drug crimes.

A new law that was enacted to help reduce fraud will require doctors to write electronic prescriptions. Although this law does not go into effect until 2022, it will make it easier for doctors to record prescriptions in California’s opioid database. Lawmakers have also taken steps to strengthen the opioid database. Right now, a patient get an opioid prescription in California, then go to another state and get another prescription. A law taking effect in 2020 allows the Department of Justice to share opioid prescriptions that are in the database with other states to prevent duplicate prescriptions.

Lawmakers have also addressed education issues regarding opiods. Starting this year, a new law allows physicians and surgeons to take a continuing education course on opiate-dependent patient management and treatment. Pharmacists will also now be able to give naloxone more easily, which is an opioid overdose antidote, and doctors will be able to offer naloxone to patients for which they prescribe opioids.

Opioid and prescription drug abuse has become a very real threat to Californians. It is refreshing to see government officials taking measures to address this problem. However, any person who has been arrested for drug crimes in California has the right to seek legal representation. Acquiring the services of a knowledgeable attorney can ensure the protection of individual rights.