Fentanyl Drug Overdose Deaths Growing in San Diego

Posted at 4:42 PM, May 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-18 19:42:28-04

SAN DIEGO, C.A. — The number of people dying from Fentanyl overdose in San Diego is growing, according to the San Diego Medical Examiner. 

There were 21 deaths in 2015, 33 deaths in 2016 and 16 deaths in 2017 so far.

“It's very dangerous for the user cause they may die or have major complications before they get to a health care facility,” said Dr. Aaron Schneir, a medical toxicologist at UC San Diego Health. 

According to the County, Mexican drug organizations use synthetic fentanyl to dilute heroin. The problem is, it’s 40-times more potent than heroin. 

“They think it’s heroin and it ends up being fentanyl,” said Dr. Schneir. 

He said they often use Fentanyl in the hospital. It relieves pain, but unlike morphine, Fentanyl wears off much faster. 

“When you get too high of a dose, you decrease your respiratory drive, so you don’t breath fast enough, and you can become unconscious,” said Dr. Schneir.