Sandy Nolan does not know where the prescription pills came from or how it started. But at the time she…
Sandy Nolan does not know where the prescription pills came from or how it started.
But at the time she noticed the characters – the sliding degrees, the distance from the family – her teenage son was already in
Jerry, the same child who used to bark her grandparents to smoke and frown on drinking, though at the age of 24 of a heroin overdose.
“I never thought it would happen to my family,” Nolan said.
It was 2008.
Ten years later, the epidemic for prescription drugs and opioid abuse is as serious as ever. While doctors write fewer recipes, users turn to the illegal markets for relief – many face an even stronger form of opioid, fentanyl.
Last year, 273 people died in the county after overdose on prescription drugs ̵
1; 20 more than the year before – with the vast majority of deaths attributable to opioid medication, according to the county’s annual report on drug abuse abuse, report Friday.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin, claimed 84 lives – more than twice as much as 2016.
Skyrocketing fentany death illustrates how the fight against opioid abuse has shifted even further from prescription pillows to the streets.
Selling the high demand for analgesics sells drug trafficking organizations that appear to be blue oxycodone pills actually filled with fentanyl-manufactured illegally in China.
Demand for fentanyl appears at the ports at the California-Mexico border, which recorded 542 kilos of drug seized in fiscal policy 2017 – an increase of 143 percent from last year according to Customs and Border Patrol data.
Heroin’s popularity over the past decade has risen for the same reason, as prescription opioid users seek a cheaper, more accessible high that Jerry did before his death.
Last fiscal year, CBP seized 933 kilos of heroin in California access ports, up from 591 kilos the year before. But heroin overdose deaths seem to gradually decline since a maximum of 105 in 2014, with 86 such deaths recorded last year.
“Abuse card abuse is an equal opportunity killer”, alerted county supervisor Kristin Gaspar at a press conference on Friday, “And may affect anyone who crosses socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sex and age.”
Data suggests that some demographics are at higher risk.
Men are almost twice as likely to die from prescription drugs, overdose death than women, according to 2017 data. Men ages 25-34 were at highest risk, followed by ages 55-64. Women met higher risk in the 55-64 age group.
White also represented a disproportionate amount of prescription deaths last year.
“It is important to remember that the figures presented here today are real people,” Gaspar said. “These are real people like Jerry and Sandy, representing a devastating loss for family, friends and the whole community.”
The epidemic can not be combated on a single front, noted Gaspar.
Fall in point: the two dozen or so Realtors who stood behind her in solidarity at the press conference, which was in front of Kearny Mesa’s office in the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.
Why Realtors? Their open houses not only give potential buyers a tour of homes for sale, but also allow drug users to rip through bathroom cabinets and steal prescription drugs.
“With countless unused, unwanted and unused prescription drugs in home medicine cabinets across the country, this is a big problem,” said Steven Fraioli, president of the association.
He called with Gaspar, law enforcement agencies and other community leaders San Diegans abolished unused prescription drugs to prevent them from falling into hands.
Today, San Diegans will be able to release unwanted prescription drugs in 44 locations across the county as part of the US Drug Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – none questions.
Real estate agents have created a unique role in combating drug abuse by encouraging homeowners to secure their prescriptions as they would be their value b for open houses. Safe Homes Coalition, a group advocating the safe storage of drugs at home, has given thousands of bags for the task.
In April, plans real estate agents to collaborate with the coalition and others to go door to door to train homeowners to secure their medication. Among the distributed materials, anonymous and pre-addressed paid envelopes will allow homeowners to send unused drugs to a DEA-approved waste facility where the medicine will be weighed and burned.
“There is no reason for someone to die of medicine to be left unused in a medical cabinet,” said Scott Silverman, an addict trainer and President / CEO of Safe Homes Coalition.
What: Discontinue Undesired, Discontinued Medicine Safely and anonymously
Where: Find the nearest place on takebackday.dea.gov.
When: 10:00 to 14:00 today