California is seeing the rate of fentanyl-related deaths particularly in Los Angeles County skyrocket at a pace that is happening much more rapidly than the rest of the state. In 2014 there were 15 deaths in L.A. County while in 2018 the death count was up to 202 according to the California Department of Public Health. Orange and Riverside Counties also saw a jump as well, so did San Bernardino County although these counties did not have increases at the level of L.A. County. Across the state, fentanyl deaths were reported to have a preliminary number of 743 individuals in the year 2018.
Fentanyl isn’t the only drug to see the alarming rise in the state, other illicit drugs have also increased just not as rapidly as fentanyl. Why the increase? The death toll isn’t just due to pure fentanyl, a serious ongoing problem is that many other drugs are laced with fentanyl which researchers have indicated is significantly more addictive and toxic to the human body than heroin. So many individuals are taking drugs that they don’t know the composition and as a result, ingesting toxins that are extremely lethal, with even one use. This is why fentanyl is leading the way as the most potent and deadly drug in the state, a trend that is also seen occurring across the country.
It is very easy to cut pills with fentanyl and have them still look the same. The reason that dealers are increasingly using this powerful drug in their mixes comes down to economics. Fentanyl cut into the real pills like oxycodone can be made for $1 each and then on the streets bring in over 20 times that amount per pill. Fentanyl is strong, cheap, and easily obtainable, in addition to having little quality control.
The reason California in specific is seeing such a jump at epidemic levels is due also to regulations or lack thereof. The legal system in the state has also changed the way they treat drug-related crimes. When proposition 47 passed in November 2014 along with the prison realignment Assembly Bill 109 was passed in 2011, there was much less deterring individuals from using drugs. Prop 47 reduced many drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors which took the threat of serving serious jail time away. Assembly Bill 109 took those individuals who weren’t serving time for more serious felonies from prison to county jail.
Still, L.A. County insists that opioid abuse is a serious public health concern and there are programs launched to help those in struggling through the cycle of addiction. Federal prosecutors have also indicated they are going to put more effort forth to catch those dealing the deadly drug throughout the state.
Have You Been Charged With A Drug Crime In California And Need Help?
Shaheen Manshoory of the Manshoory Law Group, APC as well as his team of Southern California drug crime attorneys are extremely knowledgeable of all the programs and classes available which can sway a judge towards handing down sentencing of treatment over jail time for your charges. When you are facing drug charges, you need effective Los Angeles-based legal representation to vastly improve your chances of staying out of jail. Call us immediately. Our group of aggressive Southern California criminal defense lawyers at 877-977-7750 is here to talk with you during a free consultation anytime day or night.