New bill will fund fentanyl prevention projects around California

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Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 2365 into law. It approves $3 million to fund six fentanyl prevention projects around the state.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A TV and billboard campaign warning Fresno County parents and kids about the dangers of fentanyl could now have a broader audience.

The state will fund a pilot project so other counties can also raise public awareness against a growing problem.

"Our 2021 coroner statistics were published in Fresno County and they showed in the category for single-drug deaths, fentanyl has jumped from 9% to in the previous year to over 25% currently in this last year," says Fresno County Supervisor Steve Brandau.

Fresno Assemblyman Jim Patterson introduced the bill after the ad campaign was launched locally.

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He hopes the program can help track down fentanyl dealers.

"Fresno County has become a blueprint for the rest of California because of the work that is being done here," he said.

Different regions of the state must apply for the grant funding, which will be distributed to school districts, health departments and law enforcement agencies.

The money will be used to both educate and investigate fentanyl-related cases.

"We have to talk about rehabilitation," says Flindt Andersen, Founder of Parents and Addicts In Need (PAIN). "We have to talk about treatment and sometimes, scaring these young people does work. But a lot of times, it does not."

Rainbow fentanyl is the latest variation sparking concern. Authorities worry the multi-colored pills could attract kids.

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Two applications from each region, Southern California, Central California and Northern California, will be selected for the fentanyl awareness funding.