A string of drug overdoses has recently occurred in the City of San Fernando, but police say they don’t believe the incidents are connected and are currently not conducting any criminal investigations.
In March, the SFPD was notified of three separate overdose incidents: a male in his 30s in the 500 block of Kalisher Street on March 5; a female in her 30s on March 18 in the 1100 block of San Fernando Road; and a 28-year-old male on March 26 in the 1200 block of San Fernando Road.
None of the incidents were reportedly fatal and are being treated as medical incidents, SFPD spokesperson Lt. Irwin Rosenberg said.
In each case, Rosenberg said, the persons were treated with Narcan — the brand name for the drug naloxone that is effective in treating opioid overdoses.
“Thanks to the tools that we’re able to deploy, [police] were able to assist these individuals to ensure that the outcomes weren’t negative,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg said each officer is deployed with a Narcan kit due to the high risk of fentanyl exposure. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, according the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Over 150 people die from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl every day.
The CDC also states that fentanyl can be absorbed into the body through inhalation, oral exposure or ingestion, or skin contact.
After initial medical assistance from apolice, the victims were transported to hospitals for further treatment by the fire department, Rosenberg said.
While each overdose was opioid-related, Rosenberg said police did not know what specific narcotic each person ingested. In the March 18 case, heroin paraphernalia was found at the scene, but it could not be confirmed if the substance was in the female’s system.
Police Chief Fabian Valdez has said he is open to partnering with alcohol and drug-related community organizations to prevent other events from occurring in the future.
“We believe that a holistic approach to drug abuse is important and that holistic approach includes prevention, education, enforcement and rehabilitation,” Valdez said.