California's new 2023 health care laws, explained: Naloxone at colleges, CARE Court – KXTV

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CALIFORNIA, USA — New year, new laws, and hitting the books in 2023 are new focuses on mental health and opioids for California.
Some laws like the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline are already in effect, but 2023 will kick off some of the background work to make sure they operate with a plan. 
Other laws, like CARE Court will be more of a staggered approach, rolling out in a handful of counties in 2023 before going statewide.
Here’s what to know about the new health care laws hitting the book.
The bill made a three-digit phone number, 988, for mental health crises. While the bill went into effect in July 2022, there’s still a lot left to do in the background. The California Health and Human Services Agency have to develop a five-year implementation plan for the 988 Suicide Prevention System. A new surcharge for the 2023 and 2024 years will also be created at $.08 per access line per month with a lifetime cap of $.30 per line per month. According to bill author Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, California is the fifth state to implement a 988 phone line surcharge to fund the line.
“AB 988 will save lives. We’ve spent years bringing together the incredible advocates, stakeholders, and the families of survivors to build a better mental health system. 988 will fundamentally restructure our crisis response to put care first,” said Bauer-Kahan.
The bill establishes CARE Courts, a policy framework proposed by Governor Gavin Newsom. It’s meant to provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment services to people who are homeless. According to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office, CARE Court allows families, clinicians, first responders and others to refer individuals with schizophrenia spectrum or psychotic disorders. It provides people with community-based and court-ordered care plans, including stabilization medications, wellness and recovery supports and social services and housing.
The first cohort to implement CARE Court includes the counties of Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, Tuolumne and San Francisco. The program for those counties is required to begin Oct. 1, 2023 with the remaining counties starting no later than Dec. 1, 2024.
The Campus Opioid Safety Act aims to reduce opioid-related deaths and overdoses at public colleges and universities through education, information and through having overdose reversal medication, like Naloxone, on campus. Under the law, the California Department of Public Health has to provide educational and preventive information about opioid overdoses to all college and university campuses as part of their student orientation process.
“Many overdose deaths can be prevented with Naloxone, a life-saving drug that’s available to many colleges and universities at no cost,” said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Tomás J. Aragón. “Some colleges already make Naloxone and overdose education a top priority, and our goal is to continue supporting them while also breaking additional barriers and stigma that may be preventing us from talking about overdose and keeping students alive.”
The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023. The California State University system and California Community Colleges are required to participate, but the University of California is only requested to participate. 
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