San Diego woman works to get fentanyl addiction and overdoses off the streets – NBC 7 San Diego

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In University Heights, San Diego police investigated two overdose deaths believed to be due to fentanyl. A man and woman were found dead just before 5 a.m. Thursday in a Louisiana Street home.

Police said they found the drug fentanyl inside the house. The neighbors were surprised to hear what happened.

Two other men were found unresponsive. First responders performed CPR and administered Narcan. Both of these men survived.

Tara Stamos-Buesig was forced to attend the Louisiana Street home where investigators said four people overdosed on drugs.

For several years, she has been counseling people caught in the cycle of drug addiction. The names of those who died and those who were resurrected have not been released, but Tara said there’s a good chance she knows them.

“This brings to 50 the number of people I have worked with and known or loved friends and family who have lost their lives to an overdose,” Stamos-Buesig said.

Tara has a lot of street credibility around here. It’s his old neighborhood. She was intermittently homeless for 15 to 20 years and a drug addict during that same period. She finally got sober after her last arrest in July 2013.

“I was a person who used substances chaotically to survive on the streets and started using because of trauma,” Stamos-Buesig said.

As CEO of the San Diego Harm Reduction Coalition, his clients are mostly drug addicts. She provides anyone who accepts it with the Narcan nasal spray. It’s a most effective tool and it was used to revive two people who overdosed in this house on Thursday morning.

“Narcan should be available to everyone. It should be in everyone’s house, it should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet, in your car,” Stamos-Buesig said.

It’s personal for Tara. She survived life, found sobriety, and is now dedicated to helping others endure.

“I’m grateful that two people are alive and it lets me know that I have to do more because there could have been four people still alive and that’s a heavy burden to bear,” Stamos-Buesig said.

The Harm Reduction Coalition is consulting with San Diego County on its Narcan program, indicating where best to place Narcan stations for emergency use.

These two fatal overdoses in University Heights, apparently caused by fentanyl, are believed to be among more than 800 such deaths this year alone.

In fact, fentanyl deaths in San Diego in the first half of this year had already exceeded last year’s total.

In 2021, 812 people died from fentanyl overdoses in San Diego County. From January to June 2022, there have already been 825 deaths.

To see how quickly this problem is getting worse: just 5 years ago, the number of fatal fentanyl overdoses in the county was 84.

Now Mayor Todd Gloria has said he will issue an executive order directing the city’s Department of Government Affairs to pursue state legislation to improve penalties for drug traffickers when fentanyl sales result in injury and death. .

It also calls on staff to develop new policies to further improve the city’s response to the fentanyl crisis.

“I pledge all the support San Diego can offer as the second largest city in California and the eighth largest city in this country. Cities are on the front lines of the impacts of this crisis and I am determined that we are at the at the forefront of addressing it,” said Mayor Gloria.

“We will not find or accept excuses to let this crisis continue to spiral out of control. We are going to own it and we are going to make sure that we tackle it at all levels, local and federal,” Mayor Gloria said. . added.

Last month, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to require fentanyl awareness in county classrooms. The proposal also calls for distributing naloxone to parents and students and training them on how to use it.

The child protection message was echoed at Thursday’s press conference.

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