Oceanside Fire Engine. Photo by Gina Yarbrough/San Diego County News

By Gina Yarbrough

Oceanside, CA–First responders treated six men on Friday to a reported overdose of the deadly drug fentanyl, fire officials said.

Oceanside Fire Department paramedics, lifeguards, and police officers responded to the incident at Seagaze Park, adjacent to the beach located to the south of the Oceanside Pier. 

When the first responders arrived on the scene, they found the men and immediately revived them with the administration of Naloxone, an antidote for opioid overdose. If they had not treated the men promptly, they would likely not have survived the overdose due to the extreme effects of the drug. After receiving treatment all of the men refused transport to the hospital against the advice of paramedics on scene.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is causing an increasing number of deaths each year. In the United States alone, over 72,000 deaths related to synthetic opioids occurred in 2022. 

According to the County of San Diego Medical Examiner, there were 152 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in San Diego County in 2019. However, fentanyl-related overdose deaths have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2021, there were at least 817 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in San Diego County, which was a 2,375% increase from the 33 deaths in 2016.

While pharmaceutical fentanyl is regularly administered to pain management patients in a clinical setting, the use of opioids from unknown and illicit sources cannot be accurately dosed. Using fentanyl or any other synthetic opioid just one time or with just one dose continues to kill people every day, Oceanside Fire Department said in a news release. 

The Oceanside Fire and Police Departments warn the public to stay clear of the drug and encourage people to carry Naloxone to help in the event that they come across a friend or family member who has overdosed. 

Naloxone is easy to administer and can be purchased at drug stores or online for free.