Advocacy

CAADPE POSITION: OPPOSE

AB 1542 - INVOLUNTARY SUD TREATMENT

CAADPE Urges members to Contact Senators Before June 29

 

The bill authorizing involuntary SUD treatment in secured facilities has passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate. It is urgent that we try to defeat this bill when it is heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 29th.

AB 1542 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) authorizes the County of Yolo to offer a voluntary pilot program, known as the Secured Residential Treatment Program, for individuals suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs) who have been convicted of drug-motivated felony crimes. The program, known as Hope Yolo, would provide residential treatment in a locked drug treatment facility where felony offenders could be sentenced and treated for SUD rather than serving their sentence in jail or prison. AB 1542 requires that Yolo County develop the program in consultation with SUD service providers and other relevant community partners.

CAADPE’s position is that involuntary treatment runs directly counter to the principle of free and informed consent to health care and SUD treatment. Locked and coerced SUD treatment has not proven effective, raises risk of overdose, is very expensive and cannot be used to draw down federal funding through Medi-Cal, a key funding source for SUD treatment in California. Potential harms resulting from compulsory treatment include increased risk of overdose and fostering distrust between treatment providers and patients, causing people who need help to be unlikely to seek it out in the future. Compulsory or coerced SUD treatment is not an effective means of promoting positive, sustained clinical outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders.

The bill authorizing involuntary SUD treatment in secured facilities has passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate. It is urgent that we try to defeat this bill when it is heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on June 29th.

AB 1542 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) authorizes the County of Yolo to offer a voluntary pilot program, known as the Secured Residential Treatment Program, for individuals suffering from substance use disorders (SUDs) who have been convicted of drug-motivated felony crimes. The program, known as Hope Yolo, would provide residential treatment in a locked drug treatment facility where felony offenders could be sentenced and treated for SUD rather than serving their sentence in jail or prison. AB 1542 requires that Yolo County develop the program in consultation with SUD service providers and other relevant community partners.

CAADPE’s position is that involuntary treatment runs directly counter to the principle of free and informed consent to health care and SUD treatment. Locked and coerced SUD treatment has not proven effective, raises risk of overdose, is very expensive and cannot be used to draw down federal funding through Medi-Cal, a key funding source for SUD treatment in California. Potential harms resulting from compulsory treatment include increased risk of overdose and fostering distrust between treatment providers and patients, causing people who need help to be unlikely to seek it out in the future. Compulsory or coerced SUD treatment is not an effective means of promoting positive, sustained clinical outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders.

Although AB 1542 ostensibly requires the consent of the defendant prior to being sentenced into the program, the procedure by which a defendant chooses to participate may be coercive. Secured or locked facilities, regulated by the courts, blur the lines between medical care and punishment, and undermine the goal of helping those in need. This concept is also inconsistent with national standards for SUD treatment established by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

No secured SUD treatment facility currently exists in California. While AB 1542 is a pilot project in one county, Yolo County, it could set a dangerous precedent and goes against the ethical standards of treatment.
CAADPE urges members to submit letters of opposition to the following members of the Senate Public Safety Committee:

  • Senator Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood), Chair
  • Senator Rosilicie Ochoa-Bogh (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Vice-Chair\
  • Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles)
  • Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland)
  • Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Be a Digital Advocate!

Send an electronic note to the senators listed above:

Just a few sentences will do. Follow the instructions below to submit a letter to members of the Senate Public Safety Committee. The comments do not have to be long. Feel free to use any of our text about the bill. Here is a sample message:

On behalf of (your organization), we urge the committee to oppose AB 1542 (McCarty, D-Sacramento), a bill that would authorize involuntary substance use disorder (SUD) treatment in locked, secured facilities. Involuntary treatment runs directly counter to the principle of free and informed consent to health care and SUD treatment. Secured or locked facilities, regulated by the courts, blur the lines between medical care and punishment, and undermine the goal of helping those in need. Compulsory or coerced SUD treatment is not an effective means of promoting positive, sustained clinical outcomes for individuals with substance use disorders. AB 1542 sets a dangerous precedent and goes against ethical standards of treatment.

Note: The Legislature’s submission process for letters requires ALL LETTERS TO BE UPLOADED INTO A NEW ELECTRONIC PORTAL. The portal will automatically send letters to the author’s office and the committee(s) of jurisdiction.

  • Letters must be on letterhead with signature and title of an official of the organization or designated representative.
  • Coalition letters must have logos, signatures, and titles for all organizations.
  • Letters of conditional support will not be listed on the analysis.
  • Letters must clearly indicate position (letters containing "concern" may not be listed).
  • Submit letters only once, unless bill is subsequently amended causing uncertainty as to the organization's present position.

For directions on submitting a position letter:  Advocacy Quick Reference Guide

This link takes you to https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/ to create an account and upload your letter.  If you are having difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Jennifer at the CAADPE office: CAADPE@caadpe.org.

Help bring new SUD Treatment to CA!
Overdose Prevention and Contingency Management

Two important bills, if approved, will bring two new SUD treatment therapies to California. Overdose Prevention and Contingency Management will bring sorely needed SUD treatment options to CA. CAADPE has long advocated that CA needs to utilize all tools, promising therapies and evidence-based practices to fight the exploding need for SUD services, especially in light of the current COVID 19 pandemic.

SB 57 and SB 110 have advanced to the State Assembly. Additional information about the bills is below.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Be a Digital Advocate!

1

Send an electronic note to Asm Jim Wood, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. 

Just a few sentences will do. Go to Asm. Wood's website, and follow the instructions to submit a letter to Asm Wood.   The comments do not have to be long.  Information about the bills is below. Here are samples messages:

 I/my agency_______ supports SB 57 overdose prevention programs, such as those that could be established under SB 57 have been extensively researched and shown to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use, including public drug use, discarded syringes, HIV and hepatitis infections, and overdose deaths.  The number of overdoses and the need for SUD treatment increasing during the COVID pandemic, California should be using all known and effective strategies to address this epidemic. 

Overdose prevention programs have proven to be cost effective, and act as essential points of health access for marginalized communities.

I/my agency ______ supports SB 110 contingency management services, such as those authorized for Medi-Cal under SB 110, give those struggling with substance use disorder positive reinforcement if they enter and remain in treatment. These services help people reduce and even fully stop substance use, and are an effective relapse prevention strategy. With the number of overdoses and the need for SUD treatment increasing during the COVID pandemic, California should be using all known and effective strategies to address this epidemic.

Contingency management services have proven to be cost effective, and act as essential points of health access for marginalized communities.

2
Submit an electronic letter to the Health Committee.

The Legislature’s submission process for letters requires ALL LETTERS TO BE UPLOADED INTO A NEW ELECTRONIC PORTAL. The portal will automatically send letters to the author’s office and the committee(s) of jurisdiction.

  • Letters must be on letterhead with signature and title of an official of the organization or designated representative.
  • Coalition letters must have logos, signatures, and titles for all organizations.
  • Letters of conditional support will not be listed on the analysis.
  • Letters must clearly indicate position (letters containing "concern" may not be listed).
  • Submit letters only once, unless bill is subsequently amended causing uncertainty as to the organization's present position.

For directions on submitting a position letter:  Advocacy Quick Reference Guide

This link takes you to https://shea.senate.ca.gov/ to create an account and upload your letter.  If you are having difficulty accessing the portal, please contact Jennifer at the CAADPE office: CAADPE@caadpe.com

SB 57 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) - Overdose Prevention Programs

SB 57 will authorize the City and County of San Francisco, the City of Oakland, and the County of Los Angeles to pilot and evaluate overdose prevention projects (OPP), sometimes referred to as “supervised consumption services,” or “supervised injection sites.” The evaluations will provide the information in order to better address California’s high rate of fatal drug overdose, homelessness, and public injection. Data from the more than 110 OPPs that already exist in eleven countries indicate that overdose prevention projects help to connect people to substance use disorder treatment and housing, and to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use, including public drug use, discarded syringes, HIV and hepatitis infections, and overdose deaths. These OPP pilot programs will also act as health settings to mitigate overdose mortality rates as well as emergency room use. Incredibly, the cumulative research shows that even with tens of thousands of injections, there has never been a known death associated with these programs. Not one.

SB 57 is timely and urgent. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated overdose rates and, as hospital resources are stretched thin, we need a science-driven strategy to prevent fatal and nonfatal drug overdose. In the context of the current national discussion to re-imagine public safety and emergency responses, OPPs should be in the forefront of our strategies to address the needs of community members living at the intersection of homelessness and substance use.

SB 110 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) - Contingency Management

SB 110 would expand substance use disorder services to include contingency management services as a covered benefit under Medi-Cal. SB 110 would also require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to issue guidance and training to providers on the use of contingency management services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries who access substance use disorder services under any Medi-Cal delivery system, including the Drug Medi-Cal Treatment Program and the Drug Medi-Cal organized delivery system.

Contingency management has proven to be the most effective method of treatment for methamphetamine addiction, and is frequently used as a treatment strategy by the Veterans Affairs Administration. This intervention program gives those struggling with substance use disorder positive reinforcement if they enter substance use treatment programs and remain in the program. This positive reinforcement helps people reduce and even fully stop substance use.

In this time of the need for public health safeguards, California should be using all known and effective strategies to address the growing need for substance use disorder services. Contingency Management programs are proven to help individuals maintain their health and are an effective relapse prevention strategy.

SB 110 Fact Sheet >

SB110 Press Release >

Joint Statement: Elected Officials & Statewide Coalition Launch Legislative Effort to Create “Overdose Prevention Programs” in the Golden State

Coalition Promises Vigorous Campaign Amid Skyrocketing Overdose Deaths and Growing Support Across the Country for this Evidence-Based, Cost-Effective Approach

California Legislators joined California State Senator Scott Wiener (San Francisco) today on the first day of the Legislative session to introduce SB 57, a bill to bring overdose prevention programs to California. The Drug Policy Alliance—along with other co-sponsoring organizations, including the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, California Society of Addiction Medicine, HealthRIGHT 360, National Harm Reduction Coalition, Tarzana Treatment Centers, San Francisco AIDs Foundation and a growing statewide coalition—are launching a vigorous legislative campaign to pilot Overdose Prevention Programs (OPP), in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles County, where the homeless crisis continues to grow, overdose rates have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and fentanyl-related deaths are surging....

"CAADPE is proud to join, as a co-sponsor, with Senator Wiener in his effort to address California's overdose crisis. The Overdose Prevention Programs (OPP) are proven to make our communities safer and healthier. In this time of the need for public health safeguards, California should be using all known and effective strategies to curb the state's overdose crisis. Overdose Prevention Programs have been shown to reduce health and safety problems associated with drug use, including public drug use, discarded syringes, HIV and hepatitis infections, and overdose deaths. CAADPE applauds Sen. Wiener for his leadership in bringing this important treatment alternative to California."
Al Senella, President CAADPE- CA Assn. of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, Inc.

Support SB57

Drop an email to Sen. Wiener today using this button. Under "Select an Issue", choose "Comment on Legislation" and then add just a few words in the comment section. Sample comment: "Thank you for your leadership in helping save lives, introducing SB57, I support the bill. "