On Jan. 12, 2022, at about 1:20 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol in the south Eureka area observed an unconscious male subject lying in the sidewalk on the 4300 block Broadway Street.
The deputy approached the man and observed a small bag containing a powdery substance in the man’s possession. Based upon the deputy’s training and presence of the substance, the man was determined to possibly be experiencing a Fentanyl overdose emergency. The deputy administered two doses of nasal Narcan, an opioid antagonist, then began performing CPR. Due to the deputy’s attentiveness and quick action, the man was successfully revived. He was then transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment.
Fentanyl overdoses are on the rise in Humboldt County. In 2020, the county saw 11 Fentanyl related deaths. In 2021, there were 33 Fentanyl related deaths, accounting for almost 10% of all deaths recorded by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office for the year.
Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and is being added to cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and pills (sold as Oxycodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax, Adderall, “Perc-30’s”, “M30’s” and many others). A Fentanyl user will use microgram quantities, which is enough to cause an overdose as opposed to the quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, or heroin needed to cause overdose. The quantity of Fentanyl added to drugs is unknown to the user thus making the doses often lethal.
Fentanyl dealers and distributers appeal to youth by disguising Fentanyl with many colors (blue, orange, purple, and others). They also use social media such as Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram to reach children and young people.
Symptoms of an opioid overdose include: unconsciousness, limp body, extreme drowsiness, slow, shallow, irregular or no breathing, pale, blue, cold and/or clammy skin, choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds, slow or no heartbeat, and very small or “pinpoint” pupils. In the event of an overdose, Narcan can be administered and can reverse the effects of overdose and prevent death. Narcan is available to the public at no cost at the following locations:
- Department of Health and Human Services
908 7th Street, Eureka
- Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction
924 5th Street, Eureka
- Redwood Rural Health Center
101 West Coast Road, Redway
If someone you know is experiencing an overdose, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Those who sell Fentanyl can be charged with murder. Anyone with information regarding the illegal sale of Fentanyl in Humboldt County is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.