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Pandemic And Easy Access To Fentanyl Blamed For Steep Rise In Accidental Fatal Overdoses

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Courtesy of Ventura County Responds
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Accidental fatal overdoses in Ventura County have dramatically increased over the last year.  

203 deaths were ruled to be as a result of an accidental overdose in 2020, compared to 128 the previous year. 

The number of accidental overdoses in Ventura County rose by 75 in 2020, while suicidal overdoses decreased by 5 compared to the previous year.

Dr Loretta Denering, who heads up the Substance Use Services for Ventura County, told KCLU that it’s a tragic rise which they had anticipated amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our recent decline in fatal overdoses has been reversed during the pandemic," she told us. 

She says the increase is not only caused by the COVID-19 pandemic directly, but by "stress, social isolation and wide availability of powerful drugs.

"And by powerful drugs, we mean Fentanyl" she added. 

"This has led to a steep rise in accidental overdoses in Ventura County. We have been prepared since the beginning of the pandemic, so while it's saddening and troubling, it's not exactly a surprise," she said. 

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