OC Sheriff Barnes Joins State Legislatures in Cracking Down on Fentanyl Epidemic

    To improve local response to the surge in fentanyl abuse, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and State Sen. Pat Bates look to re-establish a task force to address these issues.


    Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes is partnering with CA State Senator Pat Bates in drafting Senate Bill 75 to establish the “Southern California Fentanyl Task Force.” The task force aims to enhance the coordination of existing law enforcement efforts to reduce fentanyl-related deaths.

    Sheriff Barnes has said the fentanyl continues to pose a substantial risk to OC communities. 

    Barnes said “The current trend of rising fentanyl-related deaths is unacceptable. SB 75 will put us on the right path to reversing this trend by holding drug traffickers accountable.”

    His work to enhance the efforts reducing the opioid crisis in the county has been met with equal enthusiasm from Senator Bates. 

    “I am partnering with Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes and legislators from both parties to help increase law enforcement coordination. A task force would help maximize existing resources and improve communication among various agencies.”

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is added to heroin to increase its potency. Fentanyl-related deaths in California have nearly doubled every year according to statewide data from 2017-2019 and not only endangers users but puts first responders and the public at risk.

    Earlier this year, the San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan started a social media campaign to inform young people and their families about the dangers of fentanyl. Estimates predict deaths related to fentanyl have tripled in San Diego County from 2019-2020 and will more than quadruple by the end of 2021.

    SoCal Daily Pulse


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