California County Sees Decrease In Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths: Report

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As the United States continues to deal with the opioid epidemic and rise in fentanyl-released deaths and injuries, one county in California has reportedly seen a decrease in overdose deaths tied to the dangerous narcotic.

Fresno County, California, has reported a decrease in fentanyl-related deaths over the past few years. The county announced on Tuesday (May 7), Fentanyl Awareness Day, that there were 94 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2023, a decrease from the 114 that were reported in 2021. So far in 2024, there have been 26 recorded fentanyl overdose deaths, per ABC 30.

The announcement coincided with the District Attorney's office charging a man accused of selling pills containing the deadly drug to a woman who died last month. The accused, 25-year-old Antwane Lee, faces second-degree murder charges and could face 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

"I believe that in particular Fresno County, we've done an outstanding job at making people aware of the fentanyl epidemic," said Flindt Andersen, founder of Parents and Addicts In Need (P.A.I.N.).

Despite the decrease in deaths, Andersen emphasized the need for improved treatment to help those addicted to the drug. He also expressed concern about other drugs laced with fentanyl, particularly cocaine.

For more information about fentanyl and opioid overdose prevention, visit the California Department of Public Health's website.

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