News

Fentanyl-related deaths up sharply in county this year

County advises public to avoid pills not obtained directly from a pharmacy

Reported fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clara County nearly tripled from January to May 8 compared to the same period in 2019, the county Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Wednesday.

Fentanyl-laced pills tend to be blue, circular tablets with an embossed "M" on one side and "30" on the other. Photo courtesy Santa Clara County.

The office reported 19 fentanyl deaths from Jan. 1 to May 8 of this year. Only seven fentanyl-related deaths were reported during that same time span last year. The county reported 29 total fentanyl deaths in 2019.

Many of the deaths reported this year have been caused by fake pills containing the synthetic opioid, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. All reported deaths ranged from people 16 to 56 years old, with 10 of the 19 ranging from 16 to 25 years old.

Residents are advised to avoid all pills that are not obtained directly from a pharmacy. In particular, fentanyl-laced pills tend to be blue, circular tablets with an embossed "M" on one side and "30" on the other.

People struggling with stress and substance use can contact the county's Behavioral Health Services Department at 800-488-9919 for help. The department's substance abuse call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while its mental health services call center is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week at 800-704-0900.

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Fentanyl-related deaths up sharply in county this year

County advises public to avoid pills not obtained directly from a pharmacy

by /

Uploaded: Thu, May 21, 2020, 11:05 am

Reported fentanyl-related deaths in Santa Clara County nearly tripled from January to May 8 compared to the same period in 2019, the county Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Wednesday.

The office reported 19 fentanyl deaths from Jan. 1 to May 8 of this year. Only seven fentanyl-related deaths were reported during that same time span last year. The county reported 29 total fentanyl deaths in 2019.

Many of the deaths reported this year have been caused by fake pills containing the synthetic opioid, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. All reported deaths ranged from people 16 to 56 years old, with 10 of the 19 ranging from 16 to 25 years old.

Residents are advised to avoid all pills that are not obtained directly from a pharmacy. In particular, fentanyl-laced pills tend to be blue, circular tablets with an embossed "M" on one side and "30" on the other.

People struggling with stress and substance use can contact the county's Behavioral Health Services Department at 800-488-9919 for help. The department's substance abuse call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. while its mental health services call center is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week at 800-704-0900.

Comments

got all the story?
Barron Park
on May 21, 2020 at 5:57 pm
got all the story?, Barron Park
on May 21, 2020 at 5:57 pm
17 people like this

Not surprising we are now seeing the consequences of wholesale shutting down of businesses and putting over 30 million people out of work because of Covid-19. We don't hear nearly enough about the other side of the equation of SIP. This is just one sign of the severe, costly and deadly repercussions of SI. I hope our politicians and health officials are noting this , but I doubt it.


Family Friendly
Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm
Family Friendly, Old Palo Alto
on May 21, 2020 at 7:35 pm
15 people like this

Shutting down the economy and trapping people in their homes costs lives, as well. We won't know the full toll for many years.


Tragedy
Downtown North
on May 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm
Tragedy, Downtown North
on May 21, 2020 at 8:51 pm
16 people like this

"We don't hear nearly enough about the other side of the equation of SIP."

Really? Seems that's all you post about.

How about the 100,000 Covid dead? Or the tens or hundreds of thousands of lives saved by public safety actions?

I don't recall seeing your posts on that.

Please don't trivialize the fentanyl overdoses for your soapbox fodder.


Seriously?
Community Center
on May 22, 2020 at 8:12 am
Seriously?, Community Center
on May 22, 2020 at 8:12 am
2 people like this

> "We don't hear nearly enough about the other side of the equation of SIP. This is just one sign of the severe, costly and deadly repercussions of SI. I hope our politicians and health officials are noting this , but I doubt it."

^^^ How can you correlate fentanyl-related deaths with SIP mandates as opioid & fentanyl abuse has been a serious problem prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Statistics on age-related deaths would also be informative.


Walter W.
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2020 at 10:55 am
Walter W., Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2020 at 10:55 am
17 people like this

@seriously,

How do you explain a tripling of fentanyl deaths from January through May of 2020? Cases of domestic abuse are also way up. Not a stretch to think it might have something to do with SIP.

Between the corona virus and fentanyl we are dealing with a lot of death in 2020. Where is all of this fentanyl coming from? What can we do to stop it?


Seriously?
Community Center
on May 23, 2020 at 8:51 am
Seriously?, Community Center
on May 23, 2020 at 8:51 am
4 people like this

> "How do you explain a tripling of fentanyl deaths from January through May of 2020?"

^^^ More fentanyl is being smuggled into the United States where there is an active
user/customer base.


>> "Cases of domestic abuse are also way up. Not a stretch to think it might have something to do with SIP."

^^^ Stay at home mandates have obviously made an impact on increased domestic violence issue & problems.

On the other hand, it is preposterous to think that SIP mandates encourage people to consume more opioids or fentanyl as reliance on both substances is an ADDICTION and not a 'go to' substance for dealing with SIP. Marijuana & alcohol (both legal) serve that purpose adequately.


>>> "Where is all of this fentanyl coming from? What can we do to stop it?"

^^^ Illegal fentanyl is purported to being manufactured in China & then shipped to Mexico where it is then smuggled into the U.S. by gang networks.

It should be noted that China manufactures the bulk of legal pharmaceutical fentanyl but there is nothing to prevent them from overproducing it & then having the fentanyl distributed by Mexican cartels.

BIG MONEY is involved.


Walter W.
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2020 at 10:13 pm
Walter W., Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2020 at 10:13 pm
10 people like this

@seriously,

May addicts are functional addicts and are able to limit their drug consumption just enough to hang on to their job. With lots of time to take drugs and no motivation to limit their drug consumption, many addicts are overdosing.

Sorry if this doesn't fit your narrative or your self-serving understanding of ADDICTION.


Seriously?
Community Center
on May 24, 2020 at 8:23 am
Seriously?, Community Center
on May 24, 2020 at 8:23 am
4 people like this

@ Walter W.

> "May addicts are functional addicts and are able to limit their drug consumption just enough to hang on to their job."

^^^ An excellent point & a strong case for mandatory 'on the job' drug testing. Weed out the 'functional' ADDICTS & send them packing as there is no need to endanger others who rely on their services & so-called 'expertise' (i.e. surgeons, dentists, law enforcement & others who may have easy access to 'legal' pharmaceuticals).

As for the non-productive street addicts...round them up & institutionalize them.

>> "With lots of time to take drugs and no motivation to limit their drug consumption, many addicts are overdosing."

^^^ This obviously comes with the territory. Your 'lack of motivation' clarification speaks volumes...they simply don't want to QUIT. No sympathy here.


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