A new report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has exposed the bleak state of the fentanyl crisis, with LA’s fatal overdose rate rising 1,280 percent in just five years.
Los Angeles officials informed the public on Tuesday of the new numbers, which have risen 13 times from 109 deaths from fentanyl in 2016 to 1,504 in 2021.
Juli Shamash, a Los Angeles mother and advocate who lost her 19-year-old son Tyler to a fentanyl overdose in 2018, told the crowd that the drug “kills everyone.”
“To the parents who think, ‘not my child’, think again.
“This kills A students, follows stars. All races. All religions. All socio-economic groups,” she warned.
Juli Shamas gave her husband Charles, who lost their 19-year-old son Tyler to a fentanyl overdose in 2018. Since then, the family has been committed to increasing drug education and overdose prevention measures.
Los Angeles County faces the shocking revelation that fentanyl-induced deaths have increased 13-fold in just five years as the synthetic opioid has taken over the street drug trade
LA’s progressive district attorney George Gascón says the city needs to take a hard look at things it’s done in the past that clearly haven’t worked to deal with the danger of the raging drug problem
Grieving mom Juli Shamash warned parents in LA Tuesday that fentanyl is “killing real A students,” stars follow. All races. All religions. All socioeconomic groups
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin, is often mixed with cocaine and other stimulants and consumed unknowingly by recreational drug users.
After the number of U.S. deaths from overdoses related to synthetic opioids climbed to 70,000 last year, public health officials continue to sound the alarm about the extremely potent nature of fentanyl.
Dr. Gary Tsai, the director of the LA County Department of Public Health’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Control Division, told the Los Angeles Times that the numbers suggest that “many people die before they have a chance to go to the emergency room.”
“We’re talking about a matter of minutes where someone can swallow a pill and stop breathing. If someone doesn’t come across them and administer naloxone.”
Naloxone – better known as Narcan – can reverse the often lethal effects of opioids.
But while emergency room visits due to fentanyl overdose have risen, the numbers have not risen in step with the number of fentanyl deaths, indicating that many who die do so before reaching the hospital.
By 2021, fentanyl was a factor in 55 percent of overdose deaths in the US. In the 12-17 age group, 92 percent of those who died of an overdose tested positive for fentanyl.
Los Angeles officials confirmed Shamash’s sense that no group is unaffected by the ravages of fentanyl.
However, officials noted that the drug disproportionately affects some communities.
A higher number of white Los Angeles residents died last year due to fentanyl overdose, but a higher proportion of the county’s black population died.
Black people account for eight percent of the city’s population, but account for 17 percent of the city’s fentanyl overdoses.
Similarly, there was a significantly higher rate of fentanyl deaths in the wealthiest corners of the city, but the fentanyl death rate was three times higher in the poorer parts of the city.
Naloxone — commonly sold as Narcan — is a lifesaving drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose as it happens. However, drug users often only use illegal substances, meaning there is no one on site to administer the drug
As is the case in many other major metropolitan areas, LA’s drug problem has risen in step with the crime problem, which has escalated significantly in recent years
Progressive prosecutor George Gascón also addressed the group on Tuesday, telling them to critically assess “what hasn’t worked in the past.”
“We recognize that many of the solutions we implemented in the 1990s were not successful.
“Honestly, if they had been successful, we wouldn’t be standing here today,” he said.
Gascón has survived two attempts to have his position recalled after spending much of his time at the office arguing with the LA sheriff’s office and advocating progressive bail reform policies and minimum sentences for violent criminals – including drug traffickers.
His advocacy for reduced sentences and the early release of a number of convicted murder and sex offenders has earned him a reputation for soft-on-crime similar to that of other Soros-backed prosecutors through the whole country.
As is the case in many other major metropolitan areas, LA’s drug problem has risen as has the crime problem, which has escalated significantly in recent years. The drug, crime and homelessness crisis in the City of Angels has left many old residents feeling hopeless and ready to flee.
According to the police, there have been 7.3 percent more homicides in Los Angeles this year than last year. And the same progressive bail reform policies that have contributed to the increase in crime in New York allow dangerous criminals to mingle with the rest of LA’s homeless population.
Last year, the number of murders increased by 12 percent compared to last year, the number of robberies by 5.3 percent and the number of shootings by 14.8 percent. Two attempts to recall the city’s progressive DA have ended in failure.
Recently, Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino told Dr. Phil that children in his district are being forced to “step over needles” and “human waste” on their way to school because of California’s ongoing homeless crisis.
Buscaino said, “No kid in America should be afraid to walk to school, and what we found in Los Angeles [is] is that children are afraid to walk to school.’
“They tell their parents to step over needles and human waste and deal with people who unfortunately suffer from psychotic behavior – right next to their playground,” he added.
Robert F. Kennedy school in Koreatown near downtown Los Angeles surrounded by homeless people around the block as children play and roam
Los Angeles is currently home to the most homeless camps in the country
The politician told Dr. Phil that his legislative agenda is not driven by hatred or bigotry towards the homeless, but rather by the need to protect the vulnerable in his community.
“It’s not a crime to be homeless, but these are sensitive spaces that we need to protect, the most sensitive spaces among us. Playgrounds, beaches, libraries, parks — and have some responsibility for those who are in these spaces,” he said.
Over the past year, camp residents have become increasingly brazen, erecting large tents and cordoning off entire streets, much to the chagrin of outraged locals
There are even indications that residents of the pop-up camps are siphoning water and electricity from the city.
Aggression from the city’s homeless population increased during the pandemic, as has been the case in virtually all other major metropolitan areas. Like many liberal cities across the country, LA has become a den of debauchery and crime and the way forward is unclear at best.
Los Angeles residents recently voted to elect progressive Democrat Karen Bass as their next mayor, over the more conservative businessman Rick Carusowho walked on a platform to mitigate the city’s spiraling homeless problem.