Between 2016 and 2022, Santa Barbara County recorded 735 overdose deaths by various opioids. The number since 2018, when fentanyl arrived on the scene, was 589. Of those, fentanyl was responsible for 280. The rate of opioid overdoses has accelerated markedly in the past seven years. In 2016, the county reported 72 such deaths; by 2020, it was 113, and by 2022, 164. Fentanyl’s role has accelerated at an even faster rate, accounting for roughly 25 percent of all opioid overdoses in 2020 to one-half in 2021 to two-thirds in 2022. County Public Health officials say they don’t have exact numbers for overdose deaths reversed. In 2022, 374 saves were recorded, and 2018-2022, the Department of Behavioral Wellness recorded 1,101 self-reported reversals due to Narcan. 


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