SANTA CLARA COUNTY – After recently meeting with people living on the streets, high school teenagers and residents suffering from addictions, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and District Attorney Jeff Rosen said the fentanyl crisis is serious, significant and overdoses are going up expeditiously in our County.
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors today unanimously approved support for a working group to combat the fentanyl crisis. There were at least 106 deaths of residents from fentanyl in Santa Clara County in 2021. In 2020 a 12-year-old girl overdosed and died in San Jose after inhaling a counterfeit Percocet pill made of fentanyl.
While Chavez and Rosen were conducting interviews on fentanyl in recent months Chavez said the urgency and high level of need was clear.
“There was a woman telling us a friend died of a fentanyl overdose while waiting in line to get into one of our (County) beds,” said Chavez.
Rosen said half of the drug overdoses in Santa Clara County are caused by fentanyl.
“We are exploring different ways to decrease the demand and reduce the supply of a very dangerous, addictive drug and I look forward to serving on this working group,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen.
The District Attorney’s Office is also refocusing efforts to target large-scale traffickers of fentanyl and other drug cartels along with increasing education in the County.
The working group in Santa Clara County will be established with a sense of urgency through a process to be announced including possible recommendations from each of the Supervisor’s districts. Members will expedite work on fentanyl awareness social media campaigns and outreach as well as strategies for treatment in concert with the three County operated Emergency Medical departments. The Administration and County Counsel will provide staff support to the working group as needed.
The working group will include:
- Persons with lived experience,
- Family members of those who have or are suffering from fentanyl and/or opioid addiction,
- Representatives of the entire county as addiction does not honor any geographic boundaries or other socioeconomic factors,
- Experts in the areas of law enforcement, healthcare, treatment, education, and prevention as well as public policy.
The new working group will build on the efforts underway by the County’s Behavioral Health Services Department and by the Office of the District Attorney. This will maximize the progress Santa Clara County can make to save lives and promote recovery.
- The most common fentanyl pill form coming into Santa Clara County are M-30 blue pills with the number 30 stamped on them.
- Fentanyl can also be used as a cutting agent for other drugs.
- In Santa Clara County there has been a 148 percent increase in both misdemeanors and felonies from 2020 to November 1, 2021.
- Although there have been deaths among all age groups, the most affected group is young adults in the 18-25 range along with middle & high-school aged children including a 12-year-old.
- Fentanyl kills residents of all socio-economic backgrounds up and down the County.
Santa Clara County (2020)
ED Visits Related to Any Opioid Overdose – 159 visits (8.13 visits/100k residents) (57.9% increase from 2019 to 2020)
Hospitalizations Related to any Opioid Overdose – 80 hospitalizations (4.15 hospitalizations/100k residents) (8.8% decrease from 2019 to 2020)
Deaths Related to Any Opioid Overdose – 3,244 deaths (8.21 deaths/100k residents) (65.3% increase from 2019 to 2020)
ED Visits Related to Any Opioid Overdose – 11,767 visits (29.78 visits/100k residents) (33.1% increase from 2019 to 2020)
Hospitalizations Related to any Opioid Overdose – 4,244 hospitalizations (10.74 hospitalizations/100k residents) (2.5% decrease from 2019 to 2020)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2022
Contact: Beth Willon – (408) 660-5174
Communications Director for Supervisor Cindy Chavez