California Tribes’ Struggle With Opioids An Echo Of The Decline Of River That Once Was Their Nourishment
As the Klamath River has struggled, so has the health of Native American tribes that live along its Northern California waters. Now, it's hard to find anyone among the Yurok, the Karuk and the Hoopa Indians who has not been touched by the heroin epidemic.
The New York Times:
Sick River: Can These California Tribes Beat Heroin And History?
For thousands of years, the Klamath River has been a source of nourishment for the Northern California tribes that live on its banks. Its fish fed dozens of Indian villages along its winding path, and its waters cleansed their spirits, as promised in their creation stories. But now a crisis of opioid addiction is gripping this remote region. At the same time, the Klamath’s once-abundant salmon runs have declined to historic lows, the culmination of 100 years of development and dam building along the river. (Del Real, 9/4)
In other news on the crisis —
Orange County Register:
Rehab Riviera: 3 Clean-Up Bills Defy Odds And Hit Governor’s Desk, But Are They Tough Enough?
A bill by Sen. Pat Bates, inspired by successful reforms in scandal-plagued Florida, would have kick-started a wholesale revamp of California’s notoriously lax regulation of addiction treatment. Instead, her bill languishes in suspended animation in a committee file. It essentially is dead. Another bill, by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva, tried to place a state inspector in Orange County, ground zero of the Rehab Riviera. It was gutted and now addresses police training and racial profiling. California’s Legislative session ended Friday, Aug. 31, with just a few surviving rehab reform bills making it through both chambers and advancing to the governor’s desk. (Sforza and Saavedra, 9/2)
Orange County Register:
Candlelight Vigil Held In Laguna Niguel For Victims Of Opioid Overdoses
Family members and friends held up photos of loved ones lost to opioid overdose during a candlelight vigil at The Club at Rancho Niguel the night of Friday, Aug. 31. The event, organized by Laguna Niguel resident Jodi Barber who lost her son, Jarrod, to a prescription drug overdose in 2010, aims to promote awareness about the danger of over-prescribing opioids. ...According to the Orange County Health Care Agency, there were 7,457 opioid overdose cases treated in emergency departments between 2011 and 2015. Also, seven out of every 10 overdose deaths investigated by the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner during that period involved opioids. (Bharath, 9/1)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Safe-Injection Legal Battle Brewing In SF — Health Intervention Or Drug Den?
If Gov. Jerry Brown goes along, San Francisco plans to establish what could be the nation’s first legal, supervised safe injection site for drug users. But there’s a potentially serious legal obstacle: a 3-decade-old federal law that was directed at shutting down dens of crack cocaine dealers and users. (Egelko, 9/2)