SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Armand King looks upon a photo of his mentee, Major King, a young man now gone because of a fentanyl overdose.
"Within the year of 21, I've lost 9 people already," King said.
King's reality is something reflected in the latest numbers from the San Diego County Medical Examiner. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2020 are more than a 200 percent increase from just one year earlier.
"Every two weeks somebody that I know," said King.
King grew up in Southeast San Diego and now serves the area with his non-profit, Paving Great Futures. He said although the problem is happening everywhere it seems to be hitting his neighborhood particularly hard.
Just this morning he found out his organization will be getting hundreds of doses of Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse the symptoms of an overdose.
"We wanna give it to everybody so it's in your house," said King.
Paving Great Futures is also planning to do some major outreach during an upcoming hip hop and leadership summit later this month.
"It's something we do annually but this one is gonna be dedicated towards fentanyl awareness and to a few of the lives we have lost," King said.
King added that he'd like to see more funding for awareness campaigns in Southeast San Diego and will keep fighting for it, but in the meantime, he's hoping to spread the word however he can.
"We have another killer right now that is mass killing youth and we have to put attention to it," said King.
Visit Paving Great Futures' website for more information.