Escondido, CA

A new initiative on drugs

I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to join the coordinating committee of a 5-year Stanford Neurosciences Institute initiative to foster collaboration between scientists and policymakers focused on drug addiction. The Stanford initiative will be national in scope, with committee members tasked to develop plans for its launch, and to provide ongoing advice and guidance to maximize the effectiveness of the latest research on public policy.  Assemblymembers Dr. Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) and Dr. Joaquin Aramblula (D – Fresno) are my colleagues on this important committee.

My work on AB 182, The H.O.P.E. Act (Heroin & Opioid Public Education Act), and my previous work with the Opioid Task Force as a councilmember, is recognized with this appointment.   AB 182 requires the State Department of Health Care Services to develop a public education program about heroin and opioid medication abuse, including signs, treatment and resources.

Broken families, deaths, homelessness, crime and the related costs of law enforcement, all factor into the massive societal cost of our national drug epidemic. Drug abuse, especially involving heroin and other opioids, has increased in all age groups and income levels. For young adults, opioid-related deaths, including prescription drug overdoses, have become the third leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide.

By enhancing lines of communication between scientists and policymakers, the Stanford Neurosciences Institute initiative will focus on specific problems including opioid addiction and overdose, the legalization and regulation of medical and recreational marijuana, addiction prevention in young people, and management of substance abusers within the criminal justice system.

By fostering collaboration between policymakers and scientists in the fight against drug addiction we can make educated and relevant policy decisions to positively impact the epidemic of drug addiction in our state.

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Assemblymember Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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