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County Public Health focusing on fentanyl
SJ fentanyl

As part of an ongoing public education campaign to alert the residents of San Joaquin County about the dangers of fentanyl use, the San Joaquin County Opioid Safety Coalition (OSC) has launched a new public education effort: “Don’t Die to Get High – Fentanyl is Fatal.”

These educational messages will be placed throughout the county on posters, billboards, and in numerous online spaces.

According to the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, in San Joaquin County, there were 113 deaths in 2022 related to fentanyl overdose. Emergency room visits related to opioid overdose amounted to 315. The highest number of fatalities was among those aged 30 to 34, followed by 25- to 29-year-old users.

Fentanyl can be manufactured to look like other drugs, often without the user knowing it. Counterfeit pills are made to resemble prescription opioids or stimulants like amphetamines. Powdered fentanyl is often mixed with drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Fentanyl-laced drugs are extremely dangerous.

Users are often unaware their drugs are laced with fentanyl. You cannot see it, taste it, or smell it. It is important for the public to recognize that the only safe medications are those prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacy.

The new education campaign emphasizes the fact that illicit opioids are pervasive, easy to access, and too often fatal.

San Joaquin County’s Public Health Services offers Narcan, the opioid-overdose reversal nasal spray, in four of its public health vending machines for free. Narcan temporarily reverses an opioid overdose and buys time to get the overdosed person to medical care. Narcan saves lives if emergency responders are called in time.

The vending machines offering free Narcan are located at three Stockton locations:

• The main PHS administration building at 1601 E. Hazelton Ave.;

• The first-floor lobby of the County Human Services Agency at 333 E. Washington St.;

• The Stockton Metropolitan Airport.

There is also one Manteca location at Golden Valley Health Centers at 250 Northgate Drive.

Additionally, Narcan is also available for free at the PHS location at 420 S. Wilson Way in Stockton, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visit the Opioid Safety Coalition for more information about treatment services, referrals, and provider resources, or call 209-953-7309.

To learn more about recognizing signs of opioid overdose and how to respond, visit the CDPH Substance and Addiction Prevention Branch.