Fentanyl Seizures At San Diego Border Are Higher Than Ever
Almost 3,000 pounds of fentanyl in San Diego County between March and May, a 300% increase from the same time last year. Authorities describe the uptick in drug seizures due to a joint effort between law enforcement agents working in San Diego’s port. Customs and Border Protection agents have been working with Homeland Security to hunt down drug traffickers and stop them in their tracks.
San Diego Port Drug Seizures
A two-month-long enforcement effort netted a huge number of drugs. The busts, which took place over two months, netted 4,721 pounds of fentanyl and 1,700 pounds of fentanyl precursors. These drugs were headed to the streets to be pressed into pills. Instead, more than 200 arrests of alleged smugglers took place, and the government seized these drugs.
San Diego is a central hub for drug trafficking, leading to many people to addiction within the city and county. Addiction has been a significant issue in San Diego, as it has been in many other parts of the United States. The town has a complex history of addiction spanning several decades.
History of Addiction in San Diego
Drugs have always been an issue in San Diego. In the 1960s, the city grappled with heroin addiction. During the 1990s, the town had a surge of people who struggled with crack cocaine addiction and the violence associated with that. In the 2000s, however, the city succumbed to the addiction crisis caused by opioids.
Like many others, the city is still grappling with an opioid crisis. The rise of potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, has resulted in a surge in overdose deaths. The accessibility of these powerful substances often sold illicitly, has exacerbated the addiction problem, and strained public health resources.
Substance use among the homeless population has become a pressing issue in San Diego. Homelessness and addiction are interconnected problems. Many individuals often turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. San Diego has implemented various programs and initiatives to address homelessness and substance abuse simultaneously, focusing on harm reduction, treatment, and housing solutions.
Recent Seizures Reflect Concerted Effort to Fight Fentanyl in San Diego and Beyond
“We are an epicenter for fentanyl trafficking into the United States, and we know the immense responsibility that we bear to address this crisis,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said about the recent Blue Lotus Operation. “We are answering that call to action with hard work, a purpose, and a plan. Every milligram of fentanyl that we seize, and every smuggler, trafficker, and dealer we bring to justice, means less fatal doses on the streets of San Diego and beyond.”
During the operation, Homeland Security deployed eighty agents to work on drug trafficking in San Diego. In San Diego County, the two-month surge has resulted in a 300 percent increase in fentanyl seizures. There was also a 30 percent increase in defendants prosecuted for fentanyl-related crimes in the Southern District of California compared to last year.
The Blue Lotus Operation also seized fentanyl, which also tested positive for xylazine, creating a dangerous drug called “tranq dope” that leaves people physically addicted and causes gaping sores when they use it. The White House recently designated the combination of xylazine and fentanyl as an emerging threat to the United States on its growing role in overdose deaths. Xylazine is still a relatively new drug, but when a person overdoses, they may not wake up. Narcan has limited value in overdose reversal when a person has taken xylazine. It can help reverse the fentanyl overdose, but xylazine is a sedative, and there is currently no antidote to the drug.
Consider Sober Living in San Diego
San Diego is a great place to be in recovery and a recovery home; you’ll meet others with similar goals. Sober living is a great stepping stone for people who want to live in a stable, therapeutic environment. Give us a call to learn more about the sober lifestyle in our homes.
If you are in recovery from addiction and looking for a program, you may be interested in learning more about sober living arrangements. Many people confuse sober homes with halfway houses. Both are transitional living arrangements designed to support individuals recovering from addiction. While the two have some similarities, they also have distinct differences in purpose, structure, and rules.
The Halfway House
A halfway house, also known as the transitional housing program (THP) in California, typically serves individuals who have completed a period of incarceration or are on probation or parole. It aims to help people transition back into society by providing housing, structure, and support services. In California, halfway houses are part of the transitional housing program the Department of Corrections runs.
Halfway houses can be government-funded or privately operated and often have a contractual relationship with the criminal justice system. They are typically larger residential facilities and may house more residents. The focus is on providing a structured environment that facilitates reintegration into society.
Halfway houses often have more stringent rules and regulations than sober homes, particularly for residents with a criminal justice background. These rules may include abiding by a curfew, attending mandatory counseling or treatment programs, seeking employment or participating in job training, and refraining from criminal behavior. Random drug testing is also common in halfway houses.
In a halfway house, the length of stay is often determined by the requirements of the criminal justice system or parole/probation conditions. Depending on the individual's progress and compliance, it can range from a few weeks to several months.
Some halfway houses require residents to pay rent, usually on a sliding scale. Sometimes people also must pay for therapy and other services required to remain at the halfway house and fulfill probation or parole standards.
Sober Living Programs Are Much Different From Halfway Houses
The primary purpose of a sober living program is to provide a stable and supportive environment for individuals in early recovery from addiction. It aims to bridge the gap between an inpatient treatment facility and independent sober living, making it an ideal choice for people who have finished inpatient rehab. The focus is on promoting sobriety, personal growth, and the development of skills necessary for long-term recovery.
Sober living programs are often privately owned and operated by treatment centers or nonprofit organizations. They may consist of houses or apartment complexes where residents live together. The facilities are designed to create a recovery-focused community and may offer various amenities, such as group meeting spaces, healthy meals, and communal activities.
Sober living programs generally have specific rules and guidelines to ensure a safe and supportive environment. These rules may include maintaining sobriety, participating in 12-step meetings, paying rent and expenses, actively seeking employment or educational opportunities, adhering to curfews, and contributing to household chores. Random drug testing is often conducted to ensure sobriety compliance.
The length of stay in a sober living program can vary depending on individual needs and progress. Some programs have a recommended minimum stay of a few months, while others may provide long-term housing options for individuals who require ongoing support.
Sober living does not usually take health insurance because it is more of a living situation than a therapeutic program.
Both sober living programs and halfway houses offer transitional living arrangements, but their purposes and structures differ. Sober living programs focus on supporting individuals in early recovery from addiction, whereas halfway houses primarily serve individuals transitioning from incarceration to society. The rules and regulations may be more lenient in sober living programs, emphasizing sobriety and personal growth, while halfway houses typically have more structured guidelines enforced by the criminal justice system.
Learn More About Sober Living
Call us to learn more about our sober living options by the sea! We offer recovery, community, and amenities to help you keep on track.
The food service industry in California employs more than 1.4 million people, generating over $200 billion in economic activity annually. Many people make hospitality their career, which can be lucrative and fulfilling. However, it is also an industry with high rates of addiction. Workers in the food industry have the highest rate of substance use disorder among all industries.
Why Is Substance Use So Pervasive in the Food Service Industry?
People use drugs for many reasons, but when asked directly, they often say they use them to relax and unwind. Other reasons also may be at play, such as coping with mental health issues or trauma. Due to limited healthcare access, some people also use substances to deal with chronic pain issues.
One of the primary reasons for the high rates of substance use disorder in the food industry is the long working hours and the high-stress environment. Many workers in the food industry work long hours, including nights and weekends, which can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. This exhaustion and the high-stress environment of working in a busy kitchen or restaurant can make workers more vulnerable to substance use disorders.
Substances are often more freely available in the restaurant and food industry. Many drugs, including alcohol, marijuana, and prescription opioids, are readily shared by coworkers or even customers. In some cases, workers may even be encouraged to use drugs to cope with the stress and pressure of the job.
Substance use disorder is a pervasive problem that affects many industries, including the food industry in California. Substance use disorder, also known as addiction, is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite negative consequences. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or profession.
How Substance Misuse Affects Food Workers On-the-Job
The consequences of substance use disorder in the food industry can be severe. Workers struggling with addiction may have difficulty performing their jobs, leading to mistakes and accidents. They may also be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence, which can lead to legal trouble. Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite the harmful consequences. Here are some symptoms of substance use disorder that may be observed in people who work in restaurants:
- Changes in Behavior: One of the most common symptoms of substance use disorder is changes in behavior. This may include changes in mood, irritability, anxiety, depression, and agitation. Restaurant workers may also become more secretive, avoid social interactions, or become less reliable.
- Physical Symptoms: Substance use disorder can cause various physical symptoms, including changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and weight loss or gain. Restaurant workers with substance use disorder may arrive to work unkempt, smell alcohol or experience tremors, sweating, dilated pupils, and bloodshot eyes.
- Poor Work Performance: Substance use disorder can impact an individual's ability to perform their job effectively. Restaurant workers with addiction may miss work, arrive late, or leave early. They may also make more mistakes or have a slower work pace if they are under the influence. Additionally, they may have conflicts with coworkers, managers, or customers.
- Financial Problems: Substance use disorder can lead to financial problems, including spending money on drugs or alcohol and missing bill payments. Restaurant workers with addiction may even steal from their employers or coworkers to support their drug use.
- Legal Issues: Substance use disorder can also lead to legal problems, including arrests for drug possession, driving under the influence, or other criminal offenses. Restaurant workers may also lose their driver's licenses, making it difficult to get to work.
- Intoxication: A worker with substance use issues may come to work intoxicated or use drugs or alcohol on the job. They may take frequent work breaks.
Getting Sober if You Work in the Restaurant Industry
Many people who have been sober for significant amounts of time work within the restaurant industry, although they tend to stay away from bars and nightclub scenes. San Diego especially has a robust recovery community, and people work in all kinds of jobs and industries when they get sober. If you are getting sober for the first time, you may want to seek guidance from your peers in your next job endeavor. Staying sober is always the top priority.
Some people in 12-step groups even network for jobs through their support system. It’s a great idea to learn a new job alongside somebody who has been in recovery a while.
Sober Living San Diego
San Diego has so much to offer people new to recovery! We’re here to help you grow at a sober home every step of the way. Learn more about our homes, what our programs offer, and how you can start sober living by giving us a call.
The DEA recently warned about the growing use of “tranq dope,” a new street drug made from fentanyl and xylazine. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid used medically for pain relief but also commonly used illicitly for its intense euphoric effects, and it is sold on the street. Humans sometimes abuse Xylazine, a horse tranquilizer for its sedative and hallucinogenic properties. The two drugs are now commonly sold on the street, primarily in urban areas, under the name “tranq dope.” And while it’s not a hugely popular drug, the combination still manages to cause overdoses. Many people who take tranq dope don’t know they’re taking it. Usually, they think they're taking fentanyl or another opioid.
What Are the Effects of Tranq Dope?
When combined, fentanyl and xylazine can produce various effects, including sedation, respiratory depression, and altered perception. Users may experience euphoria followed by heavy sedation. The combination can increase the risk of overdose, as both drugs can depress the central nervous system, leading to slowed or stopped breathing, coma, and death.
Tranq dope, or specifically, the xylazine used in the street drug, has also been known to give its users ulcers. (Xylazine has never been tested on humans.)
People who use tranq dope are also gambling with addiction. Both drugs are highly addictive, leaving some users hooked after the first high. The dangers associated with developing a substance use disorder from using fentanyl and xylazine are significant. Both drugs can quickly lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped. The risk of overdose and other health complications increases with prolonged or heavy use.
Symptoms of Tranq Dope Use
The symptoms of intoxication from a drug like tranq dope (a combination of fentanyl and xylazine) can vary depending on the individual's tolerance level, the amount consumed, and other factors such as the purity and potency of the drug. However, some common signs and symptoms of intoxication from opioids and sedatives like these include:
- Respiratory depression, i.e., slowed breathing.
- Pinpoint pupils
- Extreme drowsiness or sedation
- Confusion or disorientation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Impaired coordination or motor function
- Low blood pressure and slow heart rate
- Bluish skin or lips due to lack of oxygen
- Coma or unconsciousness
Most people who take tranq dope will have overdose symptoms like those listed above. An overdose is a medical emergency and the best way to handle it is by calling 911 and administering Narcan.
Narcan aka naloxone, doesn’t always help with tranq dope overdoses because the xylazine is a sedative, not an opioid. However, Narcan does help reverse opioid intoxication, which can contribute to overdoses. Carrying Narcan can help reverse opioid overdoses.
Using "tranq dope" or any other illegal drug can have serious health consequences and be potentially fatal. Even long-term drug users have overdosed from tranq dope because of its intensity. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms of tranq dope intoxication, it is important to seek medical attention. Misusing any mind-altering substance is potentially dangerous.
Remembering that xylazine was meant for much larger animals than humans is important. It’s a horse tranquilizer and was not meant to be used recreationally. It can be very dangerous.
Try Sober Living in San Diego
Are you looking for a sober living home where you can learn to live life sober in a vibrant, welcoming community? San Diego can be a great place to get sober, with restorative beaches, parks, and other outdoor spaces offering scenic and tranquil environments conducive to recovery. Being surrounded by supportive networks, new neighbors and natural beauty can be grounding for individuals seeking sobriety. San Diego also has a strong and supportive recovery community with many 12-step meetings around town.
Learn more about what our sober living homes offer. Get in touch!
On the evening of April 17, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than three million fentanyl pills. The pills were a distinct color, blue. They were hidden in a shipment of green beans inspected at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry facility.
What Is Blue Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is often sold as fake prescription pills known as "M30s" online via apps, social media, and on the street. Drug users typically think the pills are Oxycodone. Usually, these drugs contain fentanyl. However, sometimes they are pure fentanyl, like in this particular case.
These pills are usually round tablets and often light blue. Rainbow colors have also been seized in the past. Blue pills, however, remain the most popular. These blue pills have also been sold as Molly and other club drugs.
Massive Blue Fentanyl Bust Was Hidden In Green Beans
A driver was bringing a tractor-trailer, purportedly a shipment of green beans. The Customs officer did what they called a "non-intrusive inspection," according to the press release. However, something was off, so they brought the drug dog in to sniff.
The dogs were successful, helping the officers stop 776 pounds of fentanyl in California. The narcotics are worth 221 million dollars on the streets.
"This seizure provides insight and displays how our officers work together in collaboration to keep this dangerous drug off the streets," said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility, said in a press release.
Fentanyl Seizures Are Common at All Ports (Green Beans or Not)
Much of the drugs that enter this country come through ports and borders with Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses various methods and technologies to combat drug smuggling and other criminal activities at the border. For example, they typically inspect vehicles and cargo. Drug sniffing dogs are a standard tool, and other intelligence methods they don't disclose often help with seizures. However, smugglers constantly adapt their strategies and tactics, and drug trafficking remains a significant challenge at many border crossings.
The smuggler will be charged for attempting to smuggle narcotics and is currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Ongoing Dangers of Fake Blue Pills
Fake blue pills are an ongoing danger to people who use drugs. Sold on the street or via apps, these pills are almost always purported to be something other than fentanyl. Yet they are fentanyl, or contain fentanyl, pretty much 100% of the time, according to the DEA. In addition, agencies in the U.S. continue to seize drugs on the border, yet they still sweep the nation and make it to the streets.
Blue fentanyl pills are often sold as Oxycontin, Molly, or other drugs that are nowhere nearly as strong as fentanyl itself. Because of the danger, multiple campaigns in the public health industry are trying to get the word out that "one pill can kill." Pills sold on apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram often make it into the hands of drug users who are what doctors term "opioid naïve."
When a non-opioid user takes fentanyl, an opioid that is 50-100 times the strength of morphine, their bodies can't handle it. Drug overdoses slow respiration and make it so the user can't wake up. Narcan, an opioid-overdose reversal drug, can work to save lives if drug users carry them. San Diego now has free dispensers to help people reverse overdoses in areas known for drug activity.
Sober Living Residences in San Diego
People who get sober have challenges and temptations. Because of this, many people decide that a group home or sober living house is the best option for them to begin their life drug-free. We're here to help you find community and build trust and confidence as you continue living without substances. Give us a call to learn more about what our homes offer.
Xylazine, a drug called “Tranq dope”, is being found more frequently in drug seizures in San Diego. For the people who use this drug, there are new dangers. It’s often found in fentanyl and is also used as an additive in other opioids like heroin. It’s a disturbing new challenge for people trying to overcome opioid use disorder.
Xylazine Is Found in Local Drug Seizures
In recent years, xylazine has been found in large drug seizures across the US. Usually, it is added to drugs such as heroin or Oxy. While few overdoses on the West Coast have detected the drug, San Diego authorities say xylazine has been found in seized drugs 23 times in the last two fiscal years between San Diego and Imperial counties. While this isn’t indicative of widespread use, it’s a growing pattern that concerns authorities.
On the East Coast, including Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, xylazine has quickly established itself as a drug of concern, added to drugs like fentanyl to create a more substantial buzz. Just like fentanyl, it’s being added to other drugs without people knowing. More than 40% of street drug samples tested in Rhode Island contained xylazine, according to recent research.
What Is Xylazine?
Xylazine is a drug that has never been approved for human use. Its main purpose is the sedation of large animals such as horses. It is technically a muscle relaxant for horses. In the past few years, the drug has been making major headway on the East Coast, where it is added to other drugs. It has been found in heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.
The sedation caused by it can lead to an overdose death. If a person who has taken fentanyl also has taken xylazine, it may be much harder to reverse the overdose. Naloxone, an opioid-overdose reversal drug, does not work in reversing xylazine toxicity. The person who overdoses may have the opioids reversed but not wake up. It can cause coma and death when a person overdoses on it.
The Dangers of Xylazine, aka Tranq Dope
Xylazine is a drug that is still being understood in the medical community. There are a few things that the DEA has told medical providers about it, such as the fact that the “high” starts within minutes and lasts for hours.
Inside a person’s body, it relaxes muscles by decreasing the release of norepinephrine and dopamine in the central nervous system. It has a profoundly sedating effect.
People high on xylazine may experience blurred vision, low blood pressure, and sleepiness/drowsiness/nodding out. It can cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and can be dangerous for people with medical conditions affected by blood sugar.
Xylazine can cause skin disease. People often end up with painful, easily infected skin ulcers when they’ve taken a drug containing it. The wound usually isn’t in the same place they injected it and can still occur if they didn’t inject it, making it a hazard for all accidental users.
On the East Coast, especially in places like Pennsylvania, where xylazine use has become endemic, users have become addicted to the drug. This means they only seek out opioids containing it. When they decide to get sober, this adds an extra challenge because they will typically experience withdrawal symptoms that Medication-Assisted Treatment can’t suppress. Treatment centers are still learning to cope with the challenge but are ready to help anyone who wants to get sober, regardless of the challenges. Medications still exist to help minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Sober Living For The Newly Sober
If you or somebody you love is looking for a sober living situation, we're here to help! Our sober homes feature community, safety, and structure as you learn to live life on its terms. Everyone deserves the opportunity to stay sober. Give yourself a chance and learn about our programs by calling 760-216-2077.
Coping with the youth fentanyl overdose crisis has been scary. California has experienced a flurry of fentanyl-related overdoses within high schools. The dangers are real enough tschoolshool are going to be required to keep Naloxone, the opioid reversal drug, on hand by law. This new law aims to tackle the epidemic of fentanyl overdoses.
California recently passed Assembly Bill 19, requiring schools to keep the lifesaving drug naloxone on hand in case of accidental fentanyl overdoses. Unfortunately, high schools around the country have been experiencing this. In October, a student overdosed at a Los Angeles school during regular class hours. A few weeks later, Prince George's County, across the US, Maryland suffered a string of overdoses in public high schools.
California Needs To Cope With Fentanyl Influx
California, in its quest to slow and end the opioid epidemic, is trying to tackle every angle. The new law would require schools in California to have at least two doses of emergency drugs such as a naloxone inhaler or canister. However, two doses may not be enough if a student overdoses on pure fentanyl. Most students who have overdosed don't even realize that their drug could be tainted, and their bodies can't handle
Fentanyl has been found in all street drugs, from cocaine and meth to Oxy and heroin. However, prevention of overdoses starts with education, and there seems to be a deficit when it comes to kids understanding the dangers of tainted street drugs.
Getting Naloxone for Fentanyl Overdoses into the Schools
No one wants to think of schools as a place where young possessing drugs. But that has always been the reality, regardless of the measures schools and local law enforcement take to prevent it. Many students who overdose don't know what they are taking- California is flush with fentanyl and counterfeit pills.
Schools are a place where drug education and mitigation can take place. But they are also where kids sell and swap drugs in their spare time. Adding naloxone to schools to prevent overdoses was a bipartisan measure with little opposition. The issue will come down to funding and costs. Fentanyl can be costly to keep in stock.
California has had trouble funding other programs that help with opioid use disorder. There have been wait lists for supplies of naloxone, an opioid-overdose reversal drug that can help save lives. It's recommended that anyone who uses opioids or takes them regularly should keep a supply of Naloxone on hand in case of accidental overdose. This means that schools will havesavekeep a steady supply and money will be needed.
Which Schools Need To Prevent Fentanyl Overdoses?
Fentanyl is a threat to all high schools and junior high schools. Young people frequently experiment with drugs without knowing the hazards. Naloxone will be required on all of the more than 10,000 K-12 campuses in California once the bill is signed into law. Implementation would begin with middle and high schools.
Some larger school districts in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Fresno already stock naloxone, but for the plan to succeed, the state must fund the initiative. Naloxone can be expensive, especially when it needs restocking.
Legislators also want to be able to offer schools naloxone training, opioid abuse education, and fentanyl education. Many young people don't know about the dangers of street drugs when it comes to fentanyl. Adding education to student health classes can help save lives.
Living Substance-Free in San Diego
If you or somebody you love is interested in sober housing, we're here to help. We offer a safe, tight-knit community focused on recovery and moving forward in life. Give us a call to learn more about our sober living programs at 760-216-2077.
Saul Caro, a San Diego resident, convicted of selling fentanyl to a man who subsequently overdosed, pleaded guilty to providing the fentanyl on June 1, 2022. At his sentencing hearing, more details of the case were revealed, showing that he was worried about the potency of the fentanyl he had acquired. The jury gave him 15 years.
Caro Knew Fentanyl He Sold Was Deadly
When Caro pleaded guilty on June 1, 2022, he admitted that he sold the highly potent fentanyl to a man the court recorder identified only as MS. Two days later, M.S. was dead. The victim, investigators discovered, had been worried about the potency of the drugs he had previously acquired from Caro. Not only did he think the fentanyl was too potent, but he told Caro that he needed to warn people about it. Caro lied, telling the victim he was. “Yeah thanks otherwise would have been bad news for me lol” (sic) the victim replied.
In November of that same year, the victim again contacted Caro and told him he was worried that the drugs had been altered somehow. The side effect, according to the texts from M.S., said it made his heart “slam.” “Ugh why the hell did they have to put that sh-- in here and ruin it!” he texted Caro. “He told me to be careful cuz its strong,” Caro replied.
Caro continued to supply drugs to the victim and others for months before M.S.’s death. The text messages showed that other drugs could have been mixed into the fentanyl. MS, an experienced opioid user, was uncomfortable with the side effects. Yet the victim has an opioid use disorder and continued buying drugs. Caro continued to sell the drugs even though he likely knew they could be deadly.
“The defendant chose to disregard the significant risk associated with selling fentanyl and other drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “His choices had severe consequences for a family that lost a beloved son and brother. The driving factor for all of us in law enforcement is the human toll that fentanyl is taking. We see the grief and destruction in person every day. We will continue to seek justice for every victim.”
Evidence In Fentanyl Overdose Case
The prosecution had much tangible evidence, enough that Caro pleaded guilty on June 1, 2022. He agreed that he sold powdered fentanyl, which led to the death of one of his customers. When they arrested Caro, he had a bag of powder with a greenish tint in his pants, which tested positive for fentanyl. In addition, when they searched his house, they found several guns, ammunition, other drugs, and drug paraphernalia.
Many cases like this have been going forward across the country, and the U.S. continues to battle the opioid epidemic. Opioids have been a leading cause of death in the United States in recent years. Over 100,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses last year, with most of the deaths involving fentanyl.
By The Sea Recovery In San Diego
If you or somebody you love wants to live in a structured, safe community after they've finished treatment, we're here to help. By the Sea Recovery has helped set high standards for sober living in California. We are an insured and certified sober living residence by the Sober Living Network and CCAPP (California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals).
Learn more about our programs by calling us at 760-216-2077.
Fentanyl seizures at border continue to spike, according to the U.S. Department of Justice making San Diego a national epicenter for fentanyl trafficking. According to the DOJ release, more deadly fentanyl is being seized by border officials in San Diego and Imperial counties than at any of the nation’s 300-plus ports of entry, making this federal district an epicenter for fentanyl trafficking into the United States.
High Schools are Reporting Ever-Increasing Fentanyl Deaths
The San Diego Union Tribune reported recently about a California high school that made arrests after a student overdosed on fentanyl pills on campus during school. Notably the perpetrator used social media to market the pills. Using social media channels (like Snapchat) to market fentanyl laced pills is increasingly common, especially among teens, and often with predictably tragic effects
Fentanyl is Hyper-Potent and Deadly
Researchers have sounded an alarm for the past few years about the rise in overdose deaths involving fentanyl. The majority of overdoses now involve the drug, which is 50-100 times as powerful as Morphine. Overdoses that involve fentanyl are usually deadlier because of the potency of the drug.
For people who have an opioid use disorder, there are many risks to take when buying drugs. Regular drug supply chains are strained, and China has outlawed the manufacture of oxycodone (aka Oxycontin) and fentanyl. Because of this, chemists that rely on illicit drug sales have been offering fentanyl either as an adulterant or alternative to other opioids. Chinese drugmakers funnel fentanyl through the Mexico border, and from there, it makes its way into heroin, Oxy, and other street (and internet) drug dealers.
FENTANYL OVERDOSES ARE GETTING YOUNGER
Roneet Lev, an emergency room physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, told Bloomberg that most of the overdose deaths she’s seen in teens are accidental overdoses. One of her young patients, 14 years old, died from a fentanyl overdose.
“The problem is both supply and demand,” she said. “There’s already a lot of fentanyl coming into our market, and now we have a pandemic where people are isolated and not working, or not in school. These teenagers probably don’t have a substance use disorder, they’re experimenting, making a bad choice, and they end up dead.”
EDUCATION AND PREVENTION EFFORTS
Many cities and nonprofits say that harm reduction is an integral part of tackling the opioid epidemic. After all, many of the young people who are dying don’t even mean to take fentanyl. They often believe they’re taking a pill such as Percocet, Adderall, Ecstacy, etc. It may be the first time they have ever taken a drug at all.
Many law enforcement agencies are trying to get the word out about counterfeit pills and the dangers of fentanyl.
Some nonprofits offer fentanyl testing strips as a harm reduction measure that can test drugs for the presence of fentanyl. Then, the user can decide if they want to take it or flush it. Narcan, an overdose reversal drug, is also available to people who use opioids and other concerned community members. Carrying this drug can help reverse fatal overdoses, but when it’s a drug like fentanyl, reversal may require multiple doses of Narcan.
STAYING SOBER IN SOBER HOUSING
If you or somebody you love needs a safe living space to continue their recovery journey, sober housing may be the answer. We have an excellent, enthusiastic, peaceful environment where you can learn to live life on its terms, substance-free. Call us to learn more about our programs at 760-216-2077. Our treatment team is also very familiar with recovery from fentanyl and other opioids.
Educational family therapy, sometimes called psychoeducation, is a type of therapy that involves members of an individual’s family. The therapy helps provide information and education on drug detox, treatment, and other aspects of recovery. Sometimes this type of therapy involves both the client and their family, as well as other peers and family members. Educational family therapy is an essential component of drug treatment for dual-diagnosed people, meaning they live with both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder.
Why Is Educational Family Therapy Important?
Family is a big part of healing for many people in recovery. Family can play a supportive role for people in recovery. Without help, they may feel discouraged by their family members. Some family members may enable an addicted person, while others may over-criticize or try to take control of the person’s recovery. These situations are often emotionally charged. They can lead to conflict when there are communication problems. Therefore treatment centers often want to involve family members in therapy to educate them about their loved one’s disease.
Family psychoeducation is an essential service that treatment providers can facilitate. Through education and talk sessions, knowledge of addiction can help family members understand substance use disorder more clearly. Family members may also need to be educated about co-occurring conditions such as PTSD symptoms.
Educational therapy can help increase the family’s awareness of substance-use risk factors, symptoms of a substance use disorder, treatment options, and other recovery-affirming options for their loved one.
Many people who get sober do so with the support of their families. While this is not an option for everyone, when the family wants to be involved, they can help individuals make better decisions about their recovery.
More Awareness and Compliance in Recovery
For many people, a family can help keep them on task. After all, not everyone is aware of a recovering person’s schedule unless they are told about it. Knowing a person’s schedule and needs can help family members keep their loved ones on task.
Something as simple as having the family keep a calendar with the times and dates visible can help clients and their families to understand the obligations a person in recovery has. They’re working on themselves, after all. But sometimes, family members don’t know unless they are told about all the moving parts in a loved one’s recovery program.
Some family group sessions also use problem-solving to address dysfunction or negative dynamics among family members. The goal is for the family to be able to provide ongoing support and monitoring, with particular awareness of their loved ones’ needs and responsibilities in early recovery.
Bringing families together to support each other in a larger group can be a powerful experience. When peers and their families get together, they have a wealth of knowledge, strength, and hope to share. Ultimately, these types of support groups can help create a network that continues to keep in touch and support each other even once treatment has been completed.
About By the Sea Recovery
We offer safe, structured community homes with the highest sober living standards. Living in a house with a sober living culture can help you or your loved one build a strong foundation as they start their recovery journey.
Many people find comfort and community in a group setting focused on sober living. Learn more about your options and how our programs work by calling us at 760-216-2077.