Mayor Todd Gloria and California Lawyer Basic Rob Bonta hosted a roundtable dialogue in San Diego Wednesday on methods and actions being taken to handle the rising drawback of the harmful avenue drug fentanyl.
“It is a drawback that calls for a unified response from all segments of our society — authorities, well being care, regulation enforcement and the neighborhood,” Gloria mentioned. “At this time, we’re standing united to cease the distress that fentanyl is inflicting in San Diego and throughout California.”
“In San Diego, we’re sending the message to sellers that preying on our kids, our households and other people experiencing homelessness won’t be tolerated — and we’ll prosecute you to the fullest extent of the regulation,” he added.
Gloria and Bonta have been joined within the closed-door roundtable by elected officers together with Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, D-San Diego, County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Nora Vargas, District Lawyer Summer season Stephan, Sheriff Kelly Martinez and 14 others.
“California is all-in with regards to addressing fentanyl and defending the protection of our communities,” Bonta mentioned. “Fentanyl is a menace to our communities as it’s low-cost, potent and really deadly. Fentanyl could be disguised in frequent medication, and only a small quantity is sufficient to doubtlessly kill a person. We urge Californians, particularly our youth, to avoid this deadly drug.”
Gloria issued an govt order in November 2022 that directed motion and cooperation with regulation enforcement to handle the disaster, in hopes of stemming the habit and overdoses that claimed the lives of greater than 400 San Diegans in 2022 — and greater than 800 countywide.
Since that order, there was a 63% enhance in arrests of fentanyl sellers in San Diego, a press release from Gloria’s workplace learn.
San Diego additionally has a number of initiatives funded by proceeds from a authorized settlement with opioid producers, together with:
- 66 shelter beds with drug therapy providers in partnership with the county
- Laser-detection gadgets that the San Diego Police Division will use to check for fentanyl within the subject
- A jail-diversion program that directs customers into therapy
“Drug cartels, such because the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, are driving habit and fentanyl poisonings in the USA,” Drug Enforcement Company Particular Agent in Cost Shelly Howe mentioned. “Fentanyl sellers are a prime precedence for the DEA and our regulation enforcement companions.”
“At this time’s roundtable demonstrates that native, state and federal businesses are working collectively to fight the fentanyl disaster at each stage” she mentioned. “Our joint mission is to carry fentanyl sellers accountable and to save lots of lives.”
County and well being care leaders shared public-health methods for drug and overdose therapy, whereas the Medical Examiner’s Workplace confirmed that illicit fentanyl proceed to be the main explanation for dying for folks between the ages of 18 and 45, in addition to amongst folks experiencing homelessness.
“Within the final two years, we’ve seen a virtually 90% enhance within the variety of sufferers coming into our emergency departments attributable to fentanyl use,” mentioned Chris Howard, president and CEO of Sharp HealthCare. “Over that interval, we’ve additionally seen greater than a 30% enhance on the inpatient stage. As mentioned in our roundtable, it’s clear that extra motion is required countywide to cut back hurt from fentanyl and stop recidivism.”
“From a well being care perspective, rising the variety of residential therapy beds would imply that sufferers, particularly the unhoused, may very well be discharged on to residential applications to obtain the care they should struggle their habit,” Howard mentioned. “And deploying a no-cost fentanyl take a look at strip program right here in San Diego would give folks the power to check for the presence of fentanyl in a drug and scale back the variety of inadvertent exposures to the substance.”
In line with town assertion, Maienschein and representatives from the California Nationwide Guard shared the state’s enhance final month of Nationwide Guard patrols on the border to fight fentanyl smuggling and reported that the company helped intercept greater than 28,000 kilos of fentanyl on the southern border final 12 months alone — a 567% enhance over the earlier 12 months.
Metropolis Information Service contributed to this text.