SAN DIEGO — Doctors and community leaders came together Thursday for International Overdose Awareness Day to raise awareness on what’s being done in San Diego County to prevent overdose deaths.
A lawn display was set up next to the County Administration Building in downtown San Diego with small purple flags representing the more than 1,300 deaths that occurred in the region last year due to overdoses.
The display is part of a campaign to end overdoses and eliminate the stigma associated with drug-related deaths and permanent injuries.
“At UC San Diego Health, we are averaging five to six overdoses per day coming into our emergency department,” said Dr. Carla Marienfeld.
Looking at the purple flags was Caroline Walker. Her daughter Cassandra represents one of the overdose deaths in the county last year.
“She was 38. She had 4 beautiful children,” said Walker. “When police found her in a tent under a bridge in Lakeside, there was a small amount of meth that was laced with fentanyl, which was just enough to kill somebody.”
At a news conference Thursday morning, doctors and community leaders spoke about the nasal spray Narcan, which can quickly reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, including fentanyl.
For the first time ever, the over-the-counter medication is being shipped out to pharmacies nationwide and could be available as soon as this weekend.