Press conference scheduled to address spike in SCV drug overdoses

In this 2014 photo, Narcotics Detective Bill Velek displays a box of drug paraphernalia he uses to show parents what to look for around the house. Signal photo by Jim Holt.

Professionals who work on the front lines combating drug abuse in the Santa Clarita Valley are holding a press conference today at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital to address the rash of local drug overdose cases, one of them fatal, witnessed in the last 36 hours.

Those scheduled to answer questions and reflect on the trend include: someone from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station; Cary Quashen, Henry Mayo Executive  Director of Behavioral Health and Director of Action Family Counseling and emergency room physician Dr. Tracy Lawrence.

The hospital press conference, scheduled for 3 p.m., was organized today to discuss the sudden spike in drug overdoses in the Santa Clarita Valley.

David Alexander Esquivel, 28, of Castaic, was found dead in a bathroom at Bouquet Canyon Park Sunday night.

About 18 hours later, paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to reports of a young man found inside a bathroom of a coffee shop near the Valencia Westfield Town Center Mall, the victim of an apparent overdose.  He was rushed to the hospital.

Narcotics Detective Bill Velek of the SCV Sheriff Station’s Juvenile Intervention Team told The Signal he and his team are investigating the cases and confirmed he’s received reports of other overdoses since Sunday.

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