SAN DIEGO — San Diego County supervisors and the district attorney are working to increase education about the deadly affects of fentanyl.
The county is working with state education officials and the legislature to require fentanyl awareness education in classrooms.
County leaders also want to increase Narcan distributions and training for parents.
On Tuesday, a vote by the County Board of Supervisors will begin rolling out the process.
Accidental overdose deaths caused by fentanyl have reached historic levels across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 80,000 overdose deaths caused by fentanyl occurred in 2021 alone. CDC data shows these accidental deaths are the number one killer of people between the ages of 18 and 45, far exceeding the number of deaths caused by car accidents, COVID-19, heart disease and gun violence within this age group.
Many families of loved ones who have overdosed and died because of fentanyl are also sounding the alarm, especially about so-called rainbow pills that are coming out that are attracting youth.
Authorities say many deaths are occurring because people are taking pills that are counterfeit pills that are laced with fentanyl and dont know it.
One family who knows all about the disturbing fact is the Palet family of Chula Vista.
Jake Palet, 20, died in 2018 from a fatal dose of fentanyl. The beloved baseball player and coach took what he thought was Xanax. It ended up being a counterfeit prescription pill laced with fentanyl.
“Someone that we thought was a friend said ‘I’ll give you a Xanax pill, This will help you sleep.’ That Xanax pill had a speck of fentanyl at all on it and that was all it took,’ said Dave Palet, Jake’s father. “He died October 30, 2018. He got the pill October 29 and my wife unfortunately found him the next day. It was the worst moment of our lives. We still cry every day like it just happened yesterday.”
County supervisor Jim Desmond at Monday’s news conference said over six thousand pounds of fentanyl was seized in San Diego county last year.
“That’s enough to kill 1.4 billion people,” said Desmond. “We actually have to change the mindset about how we’re thinking about fentanyl. It is a poison and it’s being used as a weapon, a weapon of mass destruction that’s coming across our southern border and it’s killing hundreds of Americans a day.”