SAN DIEGO — Fentanyl cases are on the rise throughout San Diego County, and the amount of people seeking help is also up.
Mayor Todd Gloria announced his efforts to make the fentanyl crisis the top priority for his office.
In the first six months of 2022, San Diego County surpassed the total number of fentanyl-related overdoses reported in 2021.
Serene Carruthers, a family therapist with the Sharp McDonald center, said first responders and recovery specialists are overwhelmed by the number of people falling victim to fentanyl.
"Those on the front lines remain on high alert status," said Carruthers.
Officials dubbed San Diego ground zero for fentanyl smuggling because of our proximity to the border. But unfortunately, even though border officials are making record seizures, the crisis is not letting up.
"We don't see this coming to a close, this opioid crisis, any time soon; unfortunately, we fear that many more lives will continue to be lost to this," added Carruthers.
The crisis mainly affects young people between 18 to 45 years old.
Carruthers said healthcare professionals were trying to combat the crisis from every angle.
"So where we would typically see more people coming in using heroin or methamphetamine, we are seeing more people seek treatment for fentanyl and also being referred more cases, unfortunately, following a fentanyl overdose," said Carruthers.
Carruthers added fentanyl test kits are just one way we can prevent deaths.
Test kits are available at family health centers and other health care providers.
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