Some California schools will soon be required to stock fentanyl tests at campus health centers under a bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The bill, AB 461, applies to California State Universities and community colleges and requires them to stock the tests and provide information about how to use them. The bill also requests that University of California campuses comply with the requirements.
The tests come in the form of small strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs.
"This is a bill aimed at saving student lives and reducing the skyrocketing number of opioid fatalities among our young people. One out of every five California youths aged 15 to 24 who died in 2021 were killed by a fentanyl overdose - either through the actual fentanyl use or by consuming another drug laced with fentanyl," read a statement by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino,) who authored the bill.
About $4 million has been set aside to distribute the fentanyl-testing strips.
The effort is part of Newsom's $1 billion plan to deal with the crisis.