The number of fentanyl overdoses is on the rise in San Diego. In hopes of preventing more, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office is helping people obtain the overdose medication Narcan.
“In 2019 we had 152 individuals die from fentanyl overdoses. That’s too many. But in 2020 we tripled that to 461,” said Summer Stephan, San Diego County District Attorney.
“We are truly in a crisis and that’s why we have to take every angle we can to save lives,” said Stephan.
Stephan says San Diego County is on track to have more than 700 overdoses in 2021. In response, the District Attorney’s office hosted a Day of Action in National City Saturday. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with community organizations and receive education on drug addiction. People were also allowed to take doses of Narcan for themselves or someone they know.
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan speaks at the District Attorney’s Day of Action in National City. (NBC 7/ Ramon Galindo)
“I have friends who use, I come in contact with people who use so it’s nice to be able to distribute this as necessary,” said Sunny Delacour, a Lemon Grove resident.
Delacour was one of several people who attended the Day of Action. During the event, paramedics also showed attendees how to use Narcan if it appears someone is overdosing.
“There are a lot of people on the streets who really need Narcan,” said Delcaour.
The Day of Action comes just days after a teenager died from a Fentanyl overdose in Chula Vista.
“It hurts. Did we give him the opportunity to get some information? It hurts because we know he’s not the only one who is going to pass away,” said Reginald Washington, CEO of Project A.W.A.R.E.
Washington is a former gang member who now counsels at-risk children. He talks to young people about the dangers of Fentanyl-laced drugs.
“Fentanyl and these drugs, they don’t care what race you are. They don’t care about how much money you have,” said Washington.
The District Attorney’s office has also launched the San Diego Opioid Project to lower the number of overdoses.