End Hep C SF is deeply disappointed by Governor Newsom’s decision to veto SB57, the bill authored by Senator Scott Wiener that would have allowed San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles to pilot overdose prevention programs. This veto means that people who use drugs, including those who are living with and at risk for hepatitis C, will die preventable deaths. Governor Newsom’s veto message, which cited lack of a strong plan as justification for his decision, ignores the decades of planning locally and nationwide, and the robust evidence of the success of overdose prevention programs currently operating in New York, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Overdose prevention programs not only prevent fatal overdose, but also halt the spread of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C (HCV) by providing testing and treatment services. Moreover, this decision coming just days prior to Overdose Awareness Day on Wednesday August 31st, contradicts years of work proving the effectiveness of overdose prevention programs, and sends the false and damaging message that the lives of people who use drugs are disposable.
End Hep C SF will continue to fight for overdose prevention programs in San Francisco, statewide and the rest of the United States.