Sen. Melendez to Introduce Legislation in January Responding to Surge in Drug-Related Deaths

RIVERSIDE – Sen. Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, announced Tuesday she will be introducing legislation brought forward by constituents whose children had their lives cut short by drug-related deaths (illicit drugs.)

Sen. Melendez to Focus on Drug-Related Deaths

Sen. Melissa Melendez

“As the mother of five children, I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child to drug poisoning,” Melendez s. “The pandemic and the Governor’s shut down orders have only exacerbated the fatalities connected to drugs.”

In recent months, 50% of all drug-related deaths in LA County were connected to fentanyl poisoning. San Francisco is reporting more than 600 people have died so far this year, far outpacing the number of their COVID-19 related deaths. San Francisco has also released data related to approximately 3,000 uses of Narcon – which is used to reverse a drug-induced fatality.

“We are fighting a two-front war against an epidemic that is not going to go away by itself,” Melendez said. “It’s time we punish those who knowingly sell fentanyl to unsuspecting buyers.”

On the street, fentanyl is being sold under the disguise of prescription medication such as Xanax, Percocet, and Oxycontin. Users are actually receiving counterfeit pills containing fentanyl which is formulated to be 50 times more potent than heroin. This typically happens without a consumer’s knowledge or consent. Matt Capelouto, who tragically lost his daughter Alexandra a year ago to fentanyl poisoning, will be facing his second Christmas without her.

“The holidays are a very difficult time of year for all parents who have lost a child.” Capelouto said. “It’s especially rough for my family because Alex’s Angelversary is December 23rd. Introducing this legislation makes December a little brighter, not only for my family, but all the other parents in our organization. All I have to say is, don’t underestimate the resolve of bereaved parents. Many of us have come together and we are ready to fight for change.”

Sen. Melendez plans to introduce the legislation in early January.

State Senator Melissa A. Melendez represents the 28th Senate District which is entirely encompassed in Riverside County and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar.

Image Sources

  • Melisssa Melendez: Melisssa Melendez
  • Drug-related death: Pixaby