The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team discussed how overdoses, especially from heroin and other opioids, are affecting the local community.
Since the onset of the pandemic, drug and alcohol use has been on the rise, and overdoses related to fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic drug similar to morphine, have been reported. In a 24-hour period in Pasadena this week, seven overdose cases were reported.
Three weeks ago, two rounds of Narcan — a life-saving drug used by law enforcement to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose — had to be administered to save a suspected overdose patient’s life.
During a virtual question-and-answer session Thursday, the J-Team emphasized the importance of civilians, and even other users, who call in the overdose to the station to stay on the scene until deputies arrive.
“If you’re a user and another user has overdosed, we’re not there to take you to jail,” said Deputy Albert White. “
“If you’re a witness to it, we’re not there to take you to jail,” Detective Nashla Barakat added. “But the more information you can give us about what the person took, the more likely … your involvement is a big thing.”
An additional point the J-Team made was the level at which parents are involved in their kids’ lives. Kids and young adults, according to the law enforcement personnel speaking, can overdose on a number of things, from narcotics to vapes.
One way parents can combat the possibility of their kid overdosing is being able to access their phone.
“I’ve had of lot of parents, ‘Oh well, they have a passcode on their phone; I’m not allowed to get into it, that’s their privacy,” said White. “That’s incorrect. You’re the parent — make sure that you are knowing what’s going on in their lives.
“I think we’ve gotten away from that a little bit and we need to know what’s going on in their life, and who they’re talking to, who they’re hanging out with.”
The J-Team said its members are available to parents who believe their child is using, or to anyone who is seeking help after struggling from addiction.
If you’d like to contact the J-Team, email [email protected] or call 661-255-1121.