OC Supervisor Vicente Sarmiento, 2nd District
Fighting Opioid Overdose Deaths in Orange County

As many of you know, communities around the country have faced the tragic loss of human life after an unprecedented increase in drug overdose deaths due to fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl may be prescribed by a doctor to treat severe pain; however, it is also possible to take fentanyl unknowingly. Illicit fentanyl is being used to make fake prescription pills that may be sold on the black market or in neighboring countries. Fentanyl overdose does not have to result in a fatality. A lifesaving nasal spray, Naloxone, can restore breathing.  

To address this increase in drug overdoses and help save lives, my colleagues and I on the CalOptima Board dedicated $15 million to distribute Naloxone to Medi-Cal recipients who may need it. I led the discussion on how the drug should be distributed to ensure it benefits the community in a financially prudent manner. Additionally, I requested that training be provided on how to use the drug in case of an overdose emergency. I look forward to sharing more information about these events in the near future; in the meanwhile, please reach out to my office if you have any questions. Let’s work together to keep our families and neighborhoods safe.  


Vicente Sarmiento
Board of Supervisors, Second District
County of Orange

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