HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif.(KIEM)- During the covid-19 pandemic, there’s been a significant increase in drug abuse, specifically of the highly potent and deadly synthetic opioid known as fentanyl. By some counts, it’s now the leading cause of death of American adults under age 60.
In just two years, California has seen its fentanyl overdose deaths double. But in Humboldt County, that number is far worse as the county saw fentanyl deaths triple last year.
Fentanyl is now to blame for ten percent of all deaths in the county. The Humboldt county drug task force says the increased deaths come as the trafficking of fentanyl is spiking locally.
“It’s produced in clandestine laboratories in Mexico, and it’s then brought across the southern borders into the United States, where our people are buying it is in the Bay Area. Fentanyl is basically controlled by the Hondurans. They’re the ones that traffic fentanyl out of the Bay Area, and so are many of our humble county customers that go into San Francisco. They bring it up into Humboldt County. And then that’s where they sell it and where we have our problems,” said Sergeant Matt Tomlin with the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.
With overdoses on the rise, Narcan is now widely available at no cost to the public, one of the locations being the Department of Health and Human Services.
“We would love it if people weren’t using fentanyl, but we want them to be safe, and we don’t want them to die. So finding the Narcan are different ways to overcome that,” said Sergeant Matt Tomin.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public to call 9-1-1 if they are suspicious of an individual experiencing an overdose.
“We are trying to send a message to drug dealers in Humboldt County fentanyl opioid dealers, that what you are doing is not harmless, it’s causing deaths … this is serious,”