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CA State Senator Josh Becker - August 2023 UPDATE

Article Source:  CA State Senator Josh Becker

Senator Josh Becker
Thanks to all those who joined my August 31st town hall, “Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis: What’s Being Done on the Peninsula?” If you haven't seen it yet, I hope you will watch the video recording on my website and review the follow up resources from health professionals. If you have seen the town hall, please take a moment to answer a few brief questions to let me know what you thought about the event so my team and I can improve our future town hall meetings.

We had a valuable and informative discussion at this town hall, and I am thankful to everyone who tuned in and to our expert panelists Dr. Windy McNerney, Ph. D., Director of Biological Science Core Division in the Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center (MIRECC) at the VA Palo Alto, and a Clinical Associate Professor (affiliated) at Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine; Santa Clara County Supervisor Otto Lee; San Mateo County Superintendent Nancy Magee; and parent activists Ed Ternan, President of Song for Charlie, and Liz Walker of the Colin Walker Memorial Foundation.

Here are some takeaways from our fentanyl town hall discussion:

  • ADDICTION RISK: “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.,” according to the C.D.C.’s article, “Fentanyl Facts.”
  • GET NARCAN: Having ready access to Naloxone, also known as Narcan, will save lives, in the event of an overdose. Narcan will be available without prescription soon. Meanwhile, you can get it at the following sites now:

    • South County Clinic, 90 Highland Avenue, Building J,, San Martin, CA, 95054; Phone: (408)  852-2420; Nursing: (408) 852-2440
    • Alexian Health Clinic, 2101 Alexian Drive, Suits A& B, San Jose, CA,  95116; Phone: (408) 272-6577; Nursing: (408) 272-6077 
    • Central Valley Clinic, 2425 Enborg Lane, San Jose, CA, 95128; Phone: (408) 885-5400; Nursing:(408) 885-5487
    • One Life Counseling Center, 1303 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos, California; Phone: (650) 394-5155; Fax:(650) 332-2946; Email: info@onelifecounselingservices.com 
  • TALK TO YOUR KIDS: Learn new and effective techniques on how to speak with your child about drugs at the New Drug Talk Parent Portal, where you can find helpful tools and information to guide your next conversation. 
  • DON’T TRUST FAKE PILLS: Since pills can not be tested reliably, only take pills dispensed legally from pharmacists. So many fake pills are contaminated with fentanyl, and one dose can be lethal.
  • TEST STRIPS: Test strips are a good harm reduction tactic. In a college environment, drugs will be used recreationally within social circles, and having test strips ready creates a culture where all drugs are tested. 
  • GET HELP: To get help for yourself or a loved one who has substance use and abuse issues, please see these help centers for your county:

For a topic this important, I want to get the word out throughout the district about ways to prevent tragedy when possible. Not only have I received many notes of appreciation about this event from constituents and attendees for whom this topic resonated, but also the media coverage of the event highlights the need for our community to address this issue head-on. Here are a couple snippets from our local papers:

“Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine... has made its way into adulterated pills and other street drugs, often killing unsuspecting users. Many of its victims are teens and students who are experimenting with drugs. A fake Percocet taken at a party can quickly result in a fatality, the panelists said,” in The Palo Alto Weekly’s article, 'The urgency of this matter strikes me very deeply'. “There is an antidote, but it must be used quickly: Naloxone, or Narcan,” the article goes on, quoting Supervisor Lee: "I firmly believe that everybody should have Narcan… it'll save people's lives."
The San Mateo Daily Journal quotes Senator Becker in their article, ‘Fentanyl is no joke’: “Many of us have stood beside friends and family members battling the grip of opioid use. The fentanyl crisis ranks among the most formidable challenges to public health and safety in our time and it compels us to dive deeper into nuances.”


As both a father of two teenagers and a public servant, the urgency of this matter strikes me very deeply. I hope this town hall and my resources page are helpful to you and our communities. 

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Josh Becker
State Senator, 13th District

Website: Senator Becker's Website

Email: Contact Senator Becker

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