The Safe Homes Coalition is proud to join with the San Diego Association of REALTORS®, the County of San Diego and other community partners to continue the “Keep Kids Safe” Education Program. Together, this powerful coalition is united in its mission to reduce the number of prescription overdose deaths in the County.
California has one of the highest rates of narcotic abuse and deaths related to opioid abuse and misuse. Children and teens admit they are stealing prescription medications from their parents or the medicine cabinets of friends and relatives. Unfortunately, when these opioids and prescriptions no longer provide the high they want, they turn to heroin. In 2017, we lost more than 500 San Diegans to an opioid or drug overdose. In the U.S., that number was more than 70,000. That’s more Americans in one year than were killed in the Vietnam War. Many of these deaths are blamed on synthetic fentanyl. San Diego County is seeing record numbers of heroin, meth, and opioids pouring in from our ports of entry. But in the last couple of years, those making the drugs have been lacing them with fake fentanyl which can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Just a tiny amount the size of 4 grains of salt can kill you. Real estate agents also deal with prescription drug thefts every day. People are posing as home-buyers but what they really want is to raid the home’s medicine cabinet.
There is no simple solution so we must tackle this growing and deadly crisis with a multi-faceted approach. Fortunately, we have the support of some very dedicated local leaders in San Diego County. Through the leadership of Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, the County of San Diego granted $100,000 for the 2019 program that kicked off on April 6th, 2019, at the Waterfront Park at the Embarcadero. Sheriff Bill Gore and District Attorney Summer Stephan are also on the front lines of this opioid problem and dedicating their resources to it.
What began in 2014 as a focused effort to remove prescription drugs from open houses has expanded in 2019 to a region-wide effort to remove prescriptions no longer needed from homes before they get into the wrong hands.