Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Juvenile Intervention Team, (J-Team) deputies hosted a virtual “Java with the J-Team” Thursday discussing the recent drug trends and signs of drug overdoses.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s J-Team is composed of two entities, the School Resource deputies and the narcotics enforcement, according to Sheriff’s officials.
“The team has a three-part approach to narcotics, education being first and foremost, intervention and enforcement,” said Cpt. Justin Diez for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
As the J-Team narcotics deputies have been working to curve the number of narcotics and drug overdoses throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, they have noticed a trend of multiple different types of illegal addictive substances on the streets.
“Santa Clarita has a wide variety of drugs that we’ve seen out here,” said Detective Barakat with the J-Team. “For the most part we get a lot of opiates such as heroin, oxycontin and fentanyl.”
Other drugs that are finding their way into Santa Clarita are stimulants which include methamphetamine, cocaine and amphetamines like Ritalin and Adderall as well as depressants, Klonopin and Xanax.
“But the biggest one right now that we are seeing is Fentanyl, and it is being laced into other drugs,” Barakat said. “So what you might be thinking is Oxycontin and what you’re actually taking is Fentanyl.”
With less harmful drugs being laced with Fentanyl it has resulted in a spike of overdoses, according to officials.
Dealers have started lacing all types of narcotics with Fentanyl because it is cheaper for them, experts say.
“Because the Fentanyl is stronger it’s actually cheaper for them to sell, because you don’t need a high dosage,” Barakat said. “That’s why they do it, because they will be selling something that’s going to be stronger for the user, and the user will come back and get it because they know that they have gotten that good of a dose before theoretically.”
However, the problem with Fentanyl is it can make an already deadly drug even more deadly, according to officials.
“A small amount of heroin can be deadly, but a smaller amount of Fentanyl can kill a person,” said Deputy Leitelt, a K-9 drug unit.
For Santa Clarita Valley parents who fear their child may be using some kind of narcotic, deputies explained the signs of being on certain types of drugs.
Signs that a child or any individual may be using opiates such as heroin include weight loss, slurred speech, diminished coordination and constricted pupils.
Signs that individuals are using stimulants such as Methamphetamine include rapid heartbeat, unable to sit still, being paranoid and confused.
Indications a loved one may be misusing depressants such as prescription pills include slow reaction time and impaired judgment, slow breathing, blackouts and becoming unconscious.
When deputies respond alongside with paramedics to overdoses, deputies are able to utilize Narcan which is typically effective in stopping someone from overdosing, according to Sheriff’s officials.
The City of Santa Clarita is also working with the J-Team to offer assemblies at local schools to discuss the dangers of drugs with kids in elementary school.
For Santa Clarita Valley residents who have loved ones struggling with drug addiction or are wanting to get themself help with getting off addictive substances can call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121 and ask to speak with the J-Team.
Santa Clarita adults wanting to get drug help can contact The Way Out Recovery SCV by calling 661-296-4444.
Santa Clarita residents under 18 struggling with drug addiction can call Insight Treatment Programs at 888-295-9995.
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