SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento County is working to address issues surrounding the deadly drug fentanyl.
Families gathered at the State Capitol Saturday to address the fentanyl epidemic and for some families, it hits close to home.
Lisa Ezell’s son, Cameron, died at the age of 23.
“Cameron was a larger-than-life kind of personality,” Ezell told FOX40. “We need to spread awareness to other people because I feel like people just think that if their kid isn’t a drug addict, they don’t think it’s going to happen to them. And my son was not a drug addict.”
Cameron isn’t alone. Others like Zachary Didier and Santino Hines all fell victim to fentanyl poisoning.
“I keep thinking that I’m going to wake up and I don’t,” said Irene Salas, who lost son her son. “This is real, and a lot of people don’t think it’s real.”
“Of all the street drugs that are being taken off the streets, 98% of those street drugs are counterfeit. So, people think they’re real and of those pills, 98% of them have fentanyl in them,” explained Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert.
To the naked eye, most of the pills appear legitimate.
“There’s no way to tell because they’re getting them off the street, they’re getting them on Snapchat, online. They think they’re ordering something else and it’s straight fentanyl,” explained Lori Miller, a Division Manager for Sacramento County Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.
To combat the crisis, Sacramento County is providing a variety of tools to keep families informed and ready at a moment’s notice.
“You can’t be naïve and think that it won’t happen because your kid is a straight-A student or an athlete or whatever, because it’s happening in all families. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you have, it’s just happening everywhere,” Ezell explained.
Sacramento County advised to not to buy prescription pills online. The pills can look very similar to the real thing and to only trust what’s been prescribed by their doctor.