Press Conference: Fentanyl overdose and death in Monterey County
More than 1,500 flags honoring those affected by addiction were displayed at today's press conference to discuss fentanyl overdose and death in Monterey County. A shocking, visual reminder in front of Monterey’s City Hall, of just how many lives have been affected by overdoes in Monterey County. Particularly, fentanyl-associated deaths, which were 8 times higher in 2021 than in 2018, with a majority of the deaths in 2020 under 30 years old.
The press conference was led by Ed Smith, Vice Mayor, City of Monterey. Speakers included Dr. Reb Close, Monterey County Prescribe Safe Initiative, Mike Bruno, Assistant Chief of Police, City of Monterey, Michele Henderson, mother of child who passed in Carmel Valley due to fentanyl poisoning, Krista Reuther, Ohana, and Pastor Mike Casey, Bridge Restoration Ministry, all spoke about the work being done and what the community can do to further prevent fatal overdoses.
Monterey County Prescribe Safe Initiative provided the latest information on the counterfeit medications and their toll, and asked the public to help share the information. The partners are also seeking help in tracking the sources of the deadly drugs, provide resource information for those who need it, and let people know about the Overdose Awareness Day Resource Fair on August 31. Attendees will receive a box of free Narcan®, an FDA-approved naloxone medication that saves lives by reversing the effects of an opioid (including fentanyl) overdose.