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'A Day of Action' in National City brings awareness to ongoing increase in fentanyl

San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said it's a crisis among our teens and adults.

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — A Day of Action in National City was held on Saturday to raise awareness of the increase in fentanyl related overdose deaths across San Diego. San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said it's a crisis among our teens and adults.

In 2019, there were 152 fentanyl-related overdose deaths. Last year, that number spiked to 461. Based on data so far in 2021, experts predict there will be more than 760 overdose deaths.

Stephan said that's why events like the one on Saturday are important. One of the tools given out at the event was Narcan, a substance that can treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.

She says unfortunately despite the focused outreach and efforts throughout the years – opioid deaths are inevitably getting worse. Stephan said young kids and adults will typically go to the streets looking for painkillers but it is often laced with the deadly drug. 

"Which is like having heroin on steroids. Two grains can kill you so drug dealers are using it to lace the illicit drugs. That way they can cut their cost but it's also cutting people's lives. It's instant death essentially," said Stephan.

Narcan was handed out for free, but if you need information on how to get some, Stephan said to dial 211.

The day of actions comes just days after a 17-year-old died from a fentanyl overdose in Chula Vista – there is a helpful video and resources here: https://www.sandiegoopioidproject.org/index.html

WATCH RELATED: New details as sheriff releases full bodycam video of 'fentanyl overdose' draws more scrutiny (August 2021)

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