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Gavin Newsom scrambling to revamp his opioid plan as another deadly drug washes over California’s streets


Daily Caller News Foundation

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is struggling to revamp his plan to combat opioid abuse as the veterinary tranquilizer xylazine, also known as “tranq,” ravages the state.

California approved $30 million to fund its production of naloxone, the anti-overdose drug used in name-brand medications like Narcan, in order to help address the state’s fentanyl epidemic, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. But fentanyl is increasingly being laced with tranq, which can make overdose treatments like naloxone less effective.

Xylazine was detected in 10.9% of fentanyl overdose deaths in June 2022, compared to 1.9% in January 2019, according to the Chronicle.

Newsom called in the National Guard and various law enforcement agencies to help combat fentanyl trafficking in San Francisco in April and doubled the number of state police patrolling streets there in late June. He has also said he’s increasing anti-drug trafficking work at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, a hotspot for fentanyl trafficking, according to the Chronicle.

“While we are again trying to put so much money into Narcan, there are new emerging drugs out there that are claiming lives,” Democratic California Assembly Member Jasmeet Bains, who is also an addiction doctor, said during a committee hearing on fentanyl in May, according to the Chronicle. Bains believes several recent fatal overdoses in her district in which the user died despite receiving naloxone were caused by tranq.

California’s Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly emphasized the ongoing importance of naloxone while noting that other interventions are now needed to directly deal with tranq.

“We want to make sure that naloxone is available to save a life, as it has for thousands of Californians, but that may not be the end game, that may not be enough,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “That’s where the evolving response to tranq and other (drugs that are mixed with fentanyl) needs to continue. As those opportunities emerge, I think we are certainly prepared to refine our naloxone strategy.”

Newsom’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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