In a press release, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office shared its latest data on overdose death statistics in the county, which revealed that the situation continues to escalate.
A total of 168 overdose deaths occurred in 2022, with 115 of them being related to fentanyl. This compares to 133 total overdose deaths in 2021, with 78 related to fentanyl. In 2020, there were 113 total overdoses with 37 related to fentanyl.
In light of these alarming statistics, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is taking action. The sheriff’s office and "Project Opioid," a diverse coalition of community leaders from various disciplines, are committed to addressing the opioid crisis and saving lives. To this end, they are supporting the distribution of Narcan, a drug that reverses the often-lethal effects of an opioid overdose.
“Narcan is a harmless, yet miraculous drug that reverses the often lethal effects of an opioid overdose. Simply put, it’s easy to use and it saves lives," Sheriff Bill Brown said in a press release. "Making more Narcan available to community members will help us lower the unacceptably high rate of overdose deaths we are seeing in our community and across the nation.”
Beginning this week, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a free Narcan Distribution Program through the Department of Health Care Service's "Naloxone Distribution Project" at the sheriff’s headquarters at 4434 Calle Real, in Santa Barbara.
There will also be one in Carpinteria at 5775 Carpinteria Avenue and another at 812 W. Foster Road, in Santa Maria.
This program aims to distribute Narcan to members of the public and increase awareness about the opioid crisis and the importance of Narcan in saving lives.
Members of the public can come to the lobby of one of these three stations during business hours, obtain information about a short instructional video and receive Narcan. This program is free to the public and members of the public are not required to provide personal information to participate.