San Diego

Fentanyl forum focuses on Spanish-speaking communities in San Diego

Last year, fentanyl claimed over 800 lives all through the county, together with twelve children ages 14 to 17. It’s a dramatic bounce from simply two years in the past.

BONITA, Calif. — Fentanyl is now the primary killer amongst younger folks right here in San Diego County, which is now an epicenter for trafficking this lethal drug, in response to the U.S. Justice Department.

On Friday evening in Bonita, a particular forum  addressing this disaster targeted particularly on the Hispanic group.

Conducted virtually solely in Spanish, it helped educate the Spanish-speaking group in regards to the risks of fentanyl, a message delivered straight by households who’ve lost their very own kids to this epidemic.

“I had never heard of fentanyl before in my life,” mentioned Jaime Puerta, president of the non-profit Victims of Illicit Drugs

Puerta is featured in the documentary “Dead on Arrival”, in which he shares his story of dropping his solely youngster Daniel to a fentanyl overdose in 2020, when Daniel was solely sixteen years previous.

“He never had a chance to graduate high school, never had a chance to graduate college… He will never be a father, I will never be a grandfather,” Puerta advised CBS 8. “It was absolutely devastating to our family.”

Puerta and different mother and father shared their deeply personal tales Friday evening with an viewers of South Bay households, opening their eyes to the scourge of fentanyl.

“The fentanyl crisis involves the whole family,” mentioned Dr. Beatriz Villareal, founding father of the non-profit Mano a Mano Foundation, which organized this occasion particularly for San Diego’s Spanish-speaking group..

“This is 100% culturally sensitive, taking into consideration the culture, their way of thinking,” Villareal added. “That’s why it is so powerful.”

It is a strong message with a sensible method: every household in the viewers additionally acquired a dose of Narcan, used to counteract a doubtlessly deadly fentanyl overdose, in addition to directions to make use of it.

“This is really preventable,” mentioned San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan mentioned that, final year, fentanyl claimed over 800 lives all through the county, together with twelve children ages 14 to 17. A dramatic bounce from simply two years in the past.

“It is actually killing more people, young people in San Diego County and across the nation, than any other cause,” Stephan added. 

Stephan mentioned that the cartel is manufacturing tablets that seem innocent, like oxycodone or xanax, however are in actuality are laced with this lethal artificial opioid.

“If it’s not coming from a pharmacy or a doctor, it is likely to have fentanyl,” mentioned Stephan.

Jaime Puerta mentioned that boards like this assist to counter the cultural taboos in the Hispanic group surrounding drug use.

“The more we talk about it the more people will be aware, and the more lives will be saved,” he mentioned.

If you would like to look at the documentary Dead on Arrival, click here

The non-profit Mano a Mano is planning related boards in the approaching months in Chula Vista, San Ysidro, San Marcos and different components of the county. For more information, click here. 

WATCH RELATED: San Diego County Board of Supervisors to handle fentanyl disaster

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