‘This is the new pandemic,’ officials on rising Fentanyl-related deaths in Fresno County

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno County law enforcement and along with federal and state officials spoke Friday about the rising cases of substance abuse in the Central Valley.

According to officials, Fentanyl abuse is targeting teenagers in the Central Valley and nationwide at an alarming rate.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than Morphine and 30 to 50 times stronger than Heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. For this reason, officials say they’ve seen Fentanyl disguised as drugs such as Xanax and offered to children.

It only takes a small amount of Fentanyl to kill. Two to three milligrams which are about the size of five to seven grains of salt.

Back in 2018, there were three drug overdose deaths that were children between the ages of 10 and 20. In 2020, that number increased 300% with 12 children dying in that age group. Officials have yet to determine how many minors have died due to overdose so far this year.

In 2019, there were 10 deaths related to Fentanyl by itself and 20 deaths where Fentanyl was combined with other drugs.

In 2020, that number grew to 34 Fentanyl-only deaths and 32 combined used deaths.

If someone you know needs help with any type of substance abuse disorder they can contact 1-800-654-3937.

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