The Changing
Overdose Crisis in
Santa Barbara County

The purpose of this report is to investigate what is driving this unprecedented increase in overdose deaths and determine why so many people are still dying at the hands of illicit drugs. The report seeks to determine what is happening in the state of California and Santa Barbara County and make recommendations as to what leaders can do to reverse this deadly trend.

Sheriff’s Office Shares

Overdose Statistics and

New Narcan Distribution Program

Santa Barbara, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is sharing its latest data on overdose death statistics in the county, which reveals that the situation continues to escalate. A total of 168 overdose deaths occurred in 2022, with 115 of them being related to fentanyl. This compares to 133 total overdose deaths in 2021, with 78 related to fentanyl. In 2020, there were 113 total overdoses with 37 related to fentanyl.

In light of these alarming statistics, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is taking action. The Sheriff’s Office and Project Opioid, a diverse coalition of community leaders from various disciplines, are committed to addressing the opioid crisis and saving lives. To this end, they are supporting the distribution of Narcan, a drug that reverses the often-lethal effects of an opioid overdose.

Sheriff Bill Brown said, “Narcan is a harmless, yet miraculous drug that reverses the often lethal effects of an opioid overdose. Simply put, it’s easy to use and it saves lives. Making more Narcan available to community members will help us lower the unacceptably high rate of overdose deaths we are seeing in our community and across the nation.”

Beginning this week, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a FREE Narcan Distribution Program through the Department of Health Care Services, Naloxone Distribution Project (NDP) at Sheriff’s Headquarters (4434 Calle Real, Santa Barbara), as well as the Carpinteria (5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria) and Santa Maria (812 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria) substations. This program aims to distribute Narcan to members of the public and increase awareness about the opioid crisis and the importance of Narcan in saving lives. Members of the public can come to the lobby of one of these three stations during business hours, obtain information about a short instructional video and receive Narcan. This program is free to the public and members of the public are not required to provide personal information to participate.

The Sheriff’s Office is joining our partners in Project Opioid who also have Narcan distribution programs including the Pacific Pride Foundation, the Santa Barbara Opioid Safety Coalition, UC Santa Barbara Student Health Services Alcohol and Drug Program, and Fentanyl is Forever SB. The members of Project Opioid are committed to working together to address the opioid crisis and reduce the number of overdose deaths in the county. The Narcan Distribution Program is an important step towards achieving this goal, and we encourage community members to take advantage of this program and help us save lives.

The Santa Barbara Opioid Safety Coalition

is a local community coalition dedicated to saving lives and preventing opioid misuse through expanding public education and media outreach, enhancing opioid surveillance, preventing overdose and promoting Naloxone distribution, promoting safe disposal practices, encouraging early intervention, and expanding treatment access and recovery.

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