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Toxic methamphetamine batch containing fentanyl may be circulating in Santa Clara County

Warning comes as 36 homeless people die from drug overdose within a month

There may be an extremely toxic batch of methamphetamine containing fentanyl circulating around Santa Clara County, county prosecutors announced Friday.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, this image shows a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl. Courtesy DEA.

In the last three weeks, seven homeless residents in San Jose have suffered fatal overdoses from methamphetamine containing fentanyl.

And from July 9 through Aug. 9, 36 homeless residents died from a drug overdose, more than double the death toll from last year during the same time.

"COVID is not the only health crisis we are facing in Santa Clara County, and delta is not the only deadly variant," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

The other deadly "variant" is fentanyl, and it is not only affecting unhoused residents.

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In Santa Clara County, there have already been 44 confirmed fentanyl deaths, a number certain to rise, prosecutors said. In 2020, there were a total of 88 confirmed fentanyl overdoses, which is a significant rise from the 27 recorded deaths in 2019.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to, but 50 to 100 times more potent, than morphine.

It can be prescribed by a doctor to help with severe pain, especially after surgery, but most fentanyl-related overdoses are a result of those made illegally in a lab and put into other drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

It's often added into other drugs because it takes very little fentanyl to produce a strong high, making it a cheaper option for drug dealers.

The deadly and potent opioid, when made illegally, can be sold as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.

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Over the last few weeks, it is suspected to have killed at least five people, in addition to the seven unhoused residents, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A fentanyl overdose causes breathing to be slowed or stopped, decreasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain and potentially leading to a coma, permanent brain damage or death.

A fentanyl overdose can be treated but because it is often mixed with other dangerous drugs, it is often difficult to know which drug caused the overdose.

If someone is experiencing an overdose, experts recommend calling 911 right away.

Naloxone, which is the active ingredient in the nasal spray Narcan, is the medicine that can treat a fentanyl overdose if given right away, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Narcan is available for free to the public through the county's Behavioral Health Services Department. It can be picked up from 1-2 p.m. every day at the Central Valley Clinic, Alexian Health Clinic or South County Clinic.

For more information, people can visit bhsd.sccgov.org.

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Toxic methamphetamine batch containing fentanyl may be circulating in Santa Clara County

Warning comes as 36 homeless people die from drug overdose within a month

by Jana Kadah / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Sun, Aug 15, 2021, 8:13 am

There may be an extremely toxic batch of methamphetamine containing fentanyl circulating around Santa Clara County, county prosecutors announced Friday.

In the last three weeks, seven homeless residents in San Jose have suffered fatal overdoses from methamphetamine containing fentanyl.

And from July 9 through Aug. 9, 36 homeless residents died from a drug overdose, more than double the death toll from last year during the same time.

"COVID is not the only health crisis we are facing in Santa Clara County, and delta is not the only deadly variant," District Attorney Jeff Rosen said.

The other deadly "variant" is fentanyl, and it is not only affecting unhoused residents.

In Santa Clara County, there have already been 44 confirmed fentanyl deaths, a number certain to rise, prosecutors said. In 2020, there were a total of 88 confirmed fentanyl overdoses, which is a significant rise from the 27 recorded deaths in 2019.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to, but 50 to 100 times more potent, than morphine.

It can be prescribed by a doctor to help with severe pain, especially after surgery, but most fentanyl-related overdoses are a result of those made illegally in a lab and put into other drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

It's often added into other drugs because it takes very little fentanyl to produce a strong high, making it a cheaper option for drug dealers.

The deadly and potent opioid, when made illegally, can be sold as a powder, dropped onto blotter paper, put in eye droppers and nasal sprays or made into pills that look like other prescription opioids.

Over the last few weeks, it is suspected to have killed at least five people, in addition to the seven unhoused residents, according to the District Attorney's Office.

A fentanyl overdose causes breathing to be slowed or stopped, decreasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain and potentially leading to a coma, permanent brain damage or death.

A fentanyl overdose can be treated but because it is often mixed with other dangerous drugs, it is often difficult to know which drug caused the overdose.

If someone is experiencing an overdose, experts recommend calling 911 right away.

Naloxone, which is the active ingredient in the nasal spray Narcan, is the medicine that can treat a fentanyl overdose if given right away, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Narcan is available for free to the public through the county's Behavioral Health Services Department. It can be picked up from 1-2 p.m. every day at the Central Valley Clinic, Alexian Health Clinic or South County Clinic.

For more information, people can visit bhsd.sccgov.org.

Comments

Anonymous And On Parole
Registered user
another community
on Aug 15, 2021 at 8:57 am
Anonymous And On Parole, another community
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 8:57 am

Sadly, there are countless homeless people who are meth addicts.

When I was in county jail (Elmwood) following an arrest for grand theft auto, I discovered that a sizable number of inmates were previously homeless and awaiting trial for drug possession or final sentencing.

Upon conviction, most are remanded to county jail for a period up to one year depending on prior arrests/convictions and then they are released. Upon release, boarding the light rail in Milpitas easily takes them back to their preferred San Jose encampments or Mountain View/Palo Alto (midpeninsula) habitats via Caltrain.

Surprisingly and after an absence of illicit contraband during incarceration, the first thing many of them try to do upon release is score some meth or a pack of cigarettes.

From what I have learned, most of the illegal fentynal is being manufactured in China and then shipped to Mexico where it is smuggled by drug cartels into the United States. Meth is easily manufactured in the United States by independent drug entrepreneurs with a knowledge of chemistry and access to the right ingredients.

Manufacturing meth is very dangerous due to its explosive inflammability and hopefully there are no such meth labs in residential Palo Alto. A commercial site (i.e. the Charleston Road area or east of 101) would be less hazardous but still illegal.

This is no easy issue to remedy as some individuals are driven by artificial and powerful stimulants such as meth and cocaine. Meth is the 'poor man's coke' and readily available to the homeless in varying degrees of potency and purity.

There is also big money to be made in the manufacturing and distribution tiers.

Fortunately I do not have a substance abuse issue that detracts me from carrying out my other professions.


Peter Crist
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 15, 2021 at 9:26 am
Peter Crist, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 9:26 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Tahir Amad
Registered user
another community
on Aug 15, 2021 at 9:43 am
Tahir Amad, another community
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 9:43 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


In God We Trust
Registered user
another community
on Aug 15, 2021 at 10:14 am
In God We Trust, another community
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 10:14 am
Chuck B.
Registered user
Barron Park
on Aug 15, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Chuck B., Barron Park
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 12:00 pm
Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Aug 15, 2021 at 3:29 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Not only is a small amount of fentanyl a cheaper option for drug dealers. Fentanyl is very addictive and it keeps the addict wanting more, therefore a higher profit for the drug dealers. Very sad.


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Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:19 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:19 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:20 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:20 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:21 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:23 pm
Name hidden, Crescent Park

Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 5:23 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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