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Major spike in accidental drug overdose deaths in Ventura County continues

Federal Drug Enforcement Administration
The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office is reporting a spike in accidental drug overdose deaths, largely fueled by the dangerous opioid fentanyl. These are fentanyl pills seized by the DEA.

Total overdose deaths on track to top 250 by year's end, with the opioid fentanyl behind many of the deaths.

A new report shows an alarming spike in accidental drug overdose deaths in Ventura County is continuing.

The number of deaths is on track to top 250 by the end of the year, which would mean the total in effect doubled in the last two years.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office reports that a number of the deaths involved multiple drugs, or medications. But, officials say the spike is mainly linked to the dangerous opioid fentanyl.

It’s a synthetic opioid similar to morphine but one which is 50 to 100 times more potent. Drug dealers often mix it with other drugs, creating stronger than expected drug cocktails which can cause overdoses.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.