5,091 pounds of fentanyl were seized during the nine month period of October 2021 - June 2022 in San Diego and Imperial Counties by U.S. Customs and Border Protection law enforcement agencies. That's roughly 60% percent of total amount seized in all of the United States (8,245 seized nationwide).
The Customs and Border Protection agency says fentanyl seizures have increased by 323% percent San Diego over the last three years and 272% percent in Imperial County.
With at least 817 fentanyl related deaths in San Diego during 2021, the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office reports that fentanyl deaths have increased by 2,375% percent in San Diego County since 2016.
San Diego County District Attorney, Summer Stephan stated "Fentanyl has killed more people in San Diego, United States - young people, 18 to 45 than car accidents, gun violence, COVID or any other cause. So this is really an epidemic."
Stephan also notes that four out of 10 pills being seized contains deadly doses of fentanyl.
In response, the Southern California U.S. Attorney's Office says it is working with law enforcment partners to end the crisis by targeting drug dealers and holding them accountable, using messaging like "You’re not just a drug dealer, you’re essentially a killer." A campaign that targets the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa border ports of entry where signs in both English and Spanish will say "Your Fentanyl Kills".
Parents who have lost a child to the deadly drug are begging parents to talk with their kids. Warning them that the drug is ending up in many other things like marijuana and cocaine. If people don't die from fentanyl, they become addicted to it quickly.