In a news release, which emphasizes that individuals who sell the powerful opioid can be charged with murder, the drug task force states it is collaborating with the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office to investigate overdoses and with the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to prosecute dealers.
The highly addictive drug added to others like cocaine, heroin and pills is being manufactured in a foreign county, the HCDTF release states, and is transported to Humboldt County via the Bay Area.
“Special agents of the HCDTF have shifted their focus to seizing this fentanyl as it reaches Humboldt County from these areas,” the release states. “Seizures of Fentanyl appear smaller because of the quantity needed to use Fentanyl. A Fentanyl user will use microgram quantities which is enough to cause an overdose as opposed to quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin needed to cause overdose.”
By April, fentanyl had already accounted for nearly 50 percent of Humboldt County’s alcohol and other drug (AOD) deaths in 2021, with five overdose deaths logged in March alone, according to data provided by the coroner’s office.
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal described the drug’s impact on the region as “staggering.” Read more here.
The drug force also cautions that fentanyl dealers and distributers are trying to appeal to younger people by creating colorful products such as pills and using social media like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram to reach them.
Read the HCDTF release below:
FENTANYL IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY
Fentanyl overdoses are on the rise in Humboldt County. In 2020, Humboldt County saw 11 Fentanyl related deaths. In 2021, there have already been 33 Fentanyl related deaths. Fentanyl is added to cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and pills (sold as Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, Adderall, “Perc-30’s”, “M30’s” and many others). The quantity of Fentanyl added to drugs are unknown to the user thus making the doses often lethal. Fentanyl dealers and distributers appeal to the youth by disguising Fentanyl with many colors (blue, orange, purple, and others). They also use social media such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram to reach children and young people. The Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) encourages parents to closely monitor your child’s social media accounts.
IF YOU SELL FENTANYL, YOU CAN BE CHARGED WITH MURDER
The HCDTF is combatting Fentanyl overdoses by working in conjunction with the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office to conduct overdose investigations. HCDTF is also working with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office as well as the United States Attorney General’s office to prosecute those who sell Fentanyl. Fentanyl is manufactured in a foreign country and is distributed to Humboldt County from the Bay Area. Special Agents of the HCDTF have shifted their focus to seizing this Fentanyl as it reaches Humboldt County from these areas. Seizures of Fentanyl appear smaller because of the quantity needed to use Fentanyl. A Fentanyl user will use microgram quantities which is enough to cause an overdose as opposed to quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin needed to cause overdose.
In the event of an overdose, Narcan can be administered and can reverse the
effects of overdose and prevent death.
Narcan is available to the public at no cost at the following locations:
Department of Health and Human Services
908 7th Street, Eureka
Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction
924 5th Street, Eureka
Redwood Rural Health Center
101 West Coast Road, Redway
Some Humboldt County Pharmacies Offer Narcan (Naloxone) Without Needing a
SYMPTOMS OF OVERDOSE
• Unconsciousness, or inability to wake up
• Limp body
• Falling asleep, extreme drowsiness
• Slow, shallow, irregular or no breathing
• Pale, blue, cold and/or clammy skin
• Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
• Slow or no heartbeat
• Very small or “pinpoint” pupils