SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An annual summit at Sacramento State is hoping to address the problems with the ongoing opioid crisis impacting the community.
The message at Sacramento State was that the war on opioids will most likely continue, and instead of trying to stop it, the information they share will hopefully come in handy during emergency situations.
“The crisis now is definitely more than just the dark web, beyond that,” Sean Smith said.
Smith is a retired detective and said there are spottable clues when someone on social media is up to no good. He said the key is to look at the emojis that are used on their profiles.
“The diamond might be a substitute for something like methamphetamine. Or you’ll have the letter ‘P’; that’ll be an indicator for maybe Percocet,” Smith said.
But even if it’s advertised as a common prescription drug, Smith said that is not the case.
“They’re getting a pill that may be stamped to look exactly like Xanax, but it’s actually laced with fentanyl or has a high amount of fentanyl in it,” Smith said.
Only a few grams of fentanyl are enough to be lethal. All of this information was shared during the annual Opioid Awareness Summit at Sacramento State. Many health officials and law enforcement were in attendance, as well as school officials.
“It’s terrifying. I love teenagers and I recognize how vulnerable they are,” a Sacramento County school nurse said.
She said, unfortunately, the notion of being ‘cool’ is still prevalent in schools today.
“Several have commented on various types of drugs that they’ve used, and they kind of brag about it. They’ll even brag about how many times they’ve been rescued and that they know their friends will rescue them,” the nurse said.
With the constant dangers of a potential overdose, the summit emphasized the importance of having Narcan on hand.
“It will replace the opioid receptors, bringing someone out of an overdose,” Lauren Werner, with the Sacramento County Opioid Coalition, said.
And while there may be concerns that having Narcan readily available will encourage more drug experimenting, experts said it’s a necessity in order to save a life.
“The war on drugs has failed, and that’s obvious. So, the best thing we can do from this moment on is to prepare ourselves,” Werner said.
Sacramento County health officials will actually provide families with Narcan upon request. For more information, visit sacopioidcoalition.org.