Sheriff Releases Overdose Statistics and New Narcan Distribution Program

By the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is sharing its latest data on overdose death statistics in the county, which reveals that the situation continues to escalate.

A total of 168 overdose deaths occurred in 2022, with 115 of them being related to fentanyl. This compares to 133 total overdose deaths in 2021, with 78 related to fentanyl. In 2020, there were 113 total overdoses with 37 related to fentanyl.

In light of these alarming statistics, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is taking action. The Sheriff’s Office and Project Opioid, a diverse coalition of community leaders from various disciplines, are committed to addressing the opioid crisis and saving lives. To this end, they are supporting the distribution of Narcan, a drug that reverses the often-lethal effects of an opioid overdose.

Sheriff Bill Brown said, “Narcan is a harmless, yet miraculous drug that reverses the often lethal effects of an opioid overdose. Simply put, it’s easy to use and it saves lives. Making more Narcan available to community members will help us lower the unacceptably high rate of overdose deaths we are seeing in our community and across the nation.”

Beginning this week, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a FREE Narcan Distribution Program through the Department of Health Care Services, Naloxone Distribution Project (NDP) at Sheriff’s Headquarters (4434 Calle Real, Santa Barbara), as well as the Carpinteria (5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria) and Santa Maria (812 W. Foster Road, Santa Maria) substations. This program aims to distribute Narcan to members of the public and increase awareness about the opioid crisis and the importance of Narcan in saving lives. Members of the public can come to the lobby of one of these three stations during business hours, obtain information about a short instructional video and receive Narcan. This program is free to the public and members of the public are not required to provide personal information to participate.

The Sheriff’s Office is joining our partners in Project Opioid who also have Narcan distribution programs including the Pacific Pride Foundation, the Santa Barbara Opioid Safety Coalition, UC Santa Barbara Student Health Services Alcohol and Drug Program, and Fentanyl is Forever SB. The members of Project Opioid are committed to working together to address the opioid crisis and reduce the number of overdose deaths in the county. The Narcan Distribution Program is an important step towards achieving this goal, and we encourage community members to take advantage of this program and help us save lives.


Written by sbsheriff

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

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  1. 1-2 people die of opiate overdose in SF County a day. Source: Google
    So there I am in the process of almost shooting Tranq into a new spot above the huge abscess on my abdomen when social worker comes up to me and says: “hey there Mr. Tranq user, here is some free marijuana” OMG I say, you mean I could have been sitting in the sun in the park doing a little weed instead of Tranq? I didn’t see that poster anywhere at the needle exchange” Have I ever exchanged a needle? Beside the point, but no. People like myself who slam Tranq usually have the needle fall out while we are staggering around and I’m supposed to go looking for it?

  2. Well, according to your link, 3 of the lowest overdose death rate states are among the 4 that have weed being completely illegal and the highest death rate is in a state WV that allows medical use. Connecticut has a high death rate by overdose but marijuana is completely legal there: Explain
    Question: Are you saying people who use illegal opiates are reluctant to use illegal weed because it is illegal? SC says marijuana is illegal, has a high opiate death rate, but has penalties for marijuana possession are magnitudes lower than the penalties for illegal opioids.
    But maybe you are onto something. All we need to do for all the opiate junkies in SF that are at risk to overdose is to educate them about marijuana is legal, as if they do not already know that?

  3. Well, Sac, I never thought it could be possible for us to agree on anything.
    I was bornin the60’s and a product of the 80’s, and like many then thought cocaine was a fun thing to do.
    I smoked back then as well(cigs)and I have to say I used good weed to break both addictions, so,I don’t believe that smoking weed leads to harder drugs.
    For me it was the reverse.
    Bad choices and how you deal with them have a lot to do with it.

  4. ” recreational weed does not cause opiate addiction. That is what I’m saying.”
    Yes, that is what you are saying now, but you brought some interstate comparisons in and I was clearly addressing your thoughts on that.
    Now we are rehashing correlation vs causation.
    Marijuana use often has a correlation to some individuals progression to harder drugs. I gave you a parody example, but chances are the opiate user tried marijuana before trying opiates and combos like Tranq. At this point, the marijuana doesn’t fulfill the Fentanyl or Tranq users need. I agree that marijuana does not always lead to opiate use, the users just need more of different a high, but the correlation and progression of some users from marijuana to opiates can’t be denied either. To spread the love around, alcohol use often precedes other drug abuses as well but is also correlative not causative.

  5. Of course legalizing pot has brought on this wave of opioids and fentanyl overdoses. Did anyone really believe that once pot was legalized, the cartels without product to bring in to the US, would just disappear?
    No, the cartels did the logically thing and looked for new drugs to sell in the US. And here we are with a drug problem larger than ever.

  6. SB Tahoe. I agree with you that the cartels predominantly use trucks at ports of entry. There is evidence it is being carried in through the border, and immigrants are intimidated to carry it. There is video and news stories about it from PBS to NBC , most of it is through local TV outlets. Its not hard to find.
    Here is a quote from a different source
    “At approximately 2:43 a.m., Eagle Pass agents responded to a remote camera activation at a local ranch. Upon arrival, agents alongside their K9 unit, began their pursuit and apprehended a Mexican national. A search of his backpack revealed 24 packages wrapped in black tape. The subject was transported to the south processing center in Eagle Pass, Texas where a subsequent search of his backpack revealed the packages contained 14.77 pounds (6.7kg) of crystal methamphetamine, 5.56 pounds (2.52kg) of fentanyl pills, 1.08 pounds (0.49kg) of cocaine, and 1.08 pounds (0.49kg) of marijuana.

  7. Lost in the back and forth here is the great news that Narcan, Naloxone will be sold over the counter in the nasal spray form. (I’d also like to see birth control pills, morning after pill be over the counter).
    Naloxone has been in use since 1960’s so it has been well tested.
    I will buy two. One for home in case a visitor needs it, and one in my vehicle first aid kit and encourage everyone to.
    Hopefully the next generation of youth forges a more sober path than we have and the need for Narcan will drop due to their enlightened approach to the dangers in opiate misuse.

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