Word from the camps is you can’t get the black* anywhere. It’s fentanyl or nothing. People are dropping almost every day.
“You lookin’ for Cash Money? Cash is dead. He overdosed last year. Fentanyl. Yeah, don’t believe Cash was much over 40 years old, maybe younger. People are dropping. Dropping everywhere.”
“Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.”
“People take a hit and pass out for a few minutes. They wake up and don’t even know they been out. Wake up and want another hit.”
“The risk factors for addiction were well understood by 2012, and some promising treatments had emerged. It was clear, for example, that anti-addiction medications could nudge people into long-term sobriety, especially when combined with talk therapy. But most doctors had not been trained to make use of that information, and a large majority of people who suffered from substance use disorders were still not receiving any care at all.”
“Kids coming into camp with two dollars and they can buy a hit. Young kids, teenagers, looking for a hit.”
“Basic science and decades of failed policy have long since made clear that addiction is a legitimate medical condition — a chronic relapsing brain disorder, to be precise — and that it’s often triggered (or exacerbated) by mental illness or by social forces like poverty and childhood trauma. But the systems by which this disorder is treated have yet to shift accordingly.”
“Jeff? Which Jeff you looking for? Black Jeff? Black Jeff died. He died in the shower. Simone come running out of the room sayin’ Jeff dead and she gotta go. Dead in the shower. They said there was a needle in his arm.”
“The problem, Dr. Minkoff said, is that too many systems treat people who suffer from both mental health and substance use disorders (what doctors refer to as co-occurring disorders) as the exception, when in fact they are the rule. They make up more than half of all people who seek treatment for one condition or the other.”
“Users stay to themselves; they’re usually off from other people. You wanna live, you don’t shoot or use a strange pipe because it’s everywhere. It’s even in marijuana, so you gotta grow your own or know who you’re buying from.”
“We’ve known for a long time what works, but it looks nothing like what’s actually happening. The causes of this gap are manifold and muddy. But the consequences are crystal clear: Lives that might otherwise be saved are instead being laid to waste.”
“You can get the black tar. It’s still around. But you gotta go outta town. Here in town, it’s fentanyl. It’s in everything.”
“Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.”
“Jeremy? They brought him back three times. Last time he couldn’t come back. His brain was dead. He just stopped breathing.”
*black tar heroin
Allyson Best says
O. M. G.
Is there anyone, anywhere or anything that can be done to help these people?
Eric Caine says
Allyson Best: By far the most effective tactic for harm reduction is safe ground camping. It was implemented by Modesto in 2018, but then discontinued, despite significant drops in quality of life crimes and improved services for people suffering from all the maladies associated with severe poverty and homelessness.
Lou Valero says
Eric, or anyone else, with the knowledge,
Which characters were behind the decision to end “the safe ground camping?” Can any one, or more, name names of specific players, and/or groups, responsible?
They need to be visited with myriads of complainers. Use phone calls, letters, personal face-to- face meetings, at official meetings, or any where else, and, encounter groups, with the AIM toward challenging their unprofessional, unethical, immoral, and, selfish choices, TO DATE.
If, no names are volunteered, then take a guess who to complain to. It may not be difficult to pin the fault on the right elephant or donkey.
Eric Caine says
Lou Valero: No one knows the whole story of why safe ground camping was terminated. However, it is accurate to say that leadership at both the city and county level have little interest in safe ground. Absent political will, things will remain the same until the arrival of state and federal money. At that point, there will be a scramble to see who gets to dip into the revenue stream. Depending on how much money there is, people will be shunted into hotels and motels with too little in the way of needed services and management. The primary goal is to get homeless people out of sight.
Lou Valero says
Eric Caine: Just as it appears.
Another bunch of practically worthless locals, who told enough voters what they wanted to hear, got their way, into public office, for little worthy reason, if any.
Not at all surprising. Plenty sad, though.
Very ugly truth, their own selves, exposing their own lack of conscience spending tax payers’ hard earned wages, without satisfying the most pressing needs, of the many going without.
But they were so willing to anti up millions of dollars, for a couple of sidewalks. But none dare rest on those sidewalks, right? Not for long…
Both city and county, elected, appointed,and hired, along with voters of a certain persuasion (mind set) have their priorities wrong.
I knew I could count on you, Eric, for your honesty. Telling it exactly like it is.
It’s up to the individual if they want to get off drugs it either takes death or jail for a weak person there’s no other place to go either your strong or weak
leilani hagberg says
It’s a disease. Your view is like the old idea that people got cancer or experienced relapsing cancer because of holding on or not dealing with some old emotional trauma, considered weaklings, but millions of dollars poured into cancer treatment research has advanced medicine to significant survival rates.
With all due respect Millie, you are just repeating old dogma and it doesn’t help anyone because it’s false. However per chance, if you have any proof of your assertions, please share.