Fresno plans to require Narcan in all restaurants, bars

The council introduced a bill on Thursday to require all restaurants and bills to have the fentanyl overdose-reversing spray on site.

Fresno is on the way to requiring all restaurants and bars to carry Narcan naloxone nasal spray, a medication that reverses fentanyl overdoses. 

Thursday, the Fresno City Council approved an ordinance for introduction to require the medication at all businesses in town that have alcohol licenses. 


The big picture: The council voted 5-2 to introduce the ordinance, with Councilmembers Miguel Arias and Garry Bredefeld voting against it with concerns about the cost for businesses. 

  • The Fresno County Department of Public Health will provide two doses at no cost to every business in the city as part of the effort. 

State of play: Fresno is looking to require Narcan in response to the fentanyl epidemic devastating the state in recent years. 

  • According to Council President Annalisa Perea, who sponsored the ordinance, Fresno County has had 300 fentanyl related deaths over the last three years and has had eight so far this year. 
  • Last year an eight-month old child passed away from exposure to fentanyl, and in 2022 an 18-year-old student at Clovis North High School passed away from taking a pill laced with fentanyl. 

What we’re watching: Fresno is getting ahead of the game when it comes to requiring Narcan in businesses. 

  • Assembly Bill 1976 is currently making its way through the California Legislature. It would require all businesses to include naloxone in their first aid kits. 

What they’re saying: “Increasing access to life saving mechanisms, in this case Narcan, is good policy for the residents of our city and it will allow us to continue to see a downward trend in opioid related deaths here in our city,” Perea said. 

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