Fentanyl Crisis in California

Written by Amanda Angulo

There has been a lot of news on children, young adults, and more, overdosing on a fatal drug, Fentanyl. Just earlier this year, a San Diego Deputy Sheriff collapsed by overdosing after handling a white powder. 

Many have been skeptical of the touch causing an overdose, but that just comes to show how dangerous the drug can be if grains are absorbed by your skin. 

A couple months ago, a couple students from Chula Vista High School died from fentanyl overdoses. This drug has infiltrated the lives of many in youth and adulthood and there has been a true, strong effort to put a stop to it. 

In the state of California, there has been a visible increase in the Fentanyl epidemic. On Wednesday, the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy had found that around 1,500 people have died on the streets of Los Angeles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but 40% of the deaths were due to drug or alcohol overdoses. Yet, this seems to be an undercount. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10,000 people in California have died in drug overdoses from April 2020 to April 2021. Roughly 64% of the deaths were caused by the drug Fentanyl. 

The California Peace Coalition, a group of parents whose children were addicted or have died from the causes of Fentanyl or other drugs, held a die-in protest, also on Wednesday, in Tenderloin. They were calling for California, and especially San Francisco to prosecute dealers, shut down the drug markets, and place their kids in treatment. 

For officials to stand by and watch their people overdose on an illicit drug such as Fentanyl is cruel and inhumane, and this is widely seen in the city of San Francisco. In May, mother Laurie Steves moved into the city in order to try to help her 34 year-old daughter to get off of the drug, but has not been able to succeed.

Her daughter Jessica stated that “the city is way too easy for people with nothing to get by. That’s why I’m still here nine year later. You get by with doing drugs and suffer no consequences. I like it here.”

Photo Cred: San Francisco Police Department