Efforts to Combat Opioid Crisis at Orange County Events

In an earnest endeavor to combat the burgeoning opioid crisis plaguing Orange County, we hosted resource booths and provided essential tools and education at two significant events: “Addressing Opioid Crisis in Orange County” and “Addressing Public Safety in Orange County.”

Addressing Opioid Crisis in Orange County:

On January 29, 2024, Sonora Elementary School served as the backdrop for a crucial gathering of community leaders, law enforcement officials, and concerned citizens, convened under the leadership of Supervisor Katrina Foley, Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, and Costa Mesa Police Chief Ronald Lawrence. This event, which also drew sponsorship from OC Public Works, Newport-Mesa Unified School District, and OC Health Care Agency, aimed to confront the dire implications of the opioid crisis and strategize on effective interventions.

Central to our presence at the event was the provision of life-saving resources, including Narcan and Kloxxado nasal sprays, which can reverse opioid overdoses and potentially save lives. Additionally, FentanylSolution.org distributed fentanyl test strips, empowering individuals to detect the presence of the potent synthetic opioid in substances and prevent accidental overdoses.

Addressing Public Safety in Orange County:

Continuing its impactful engagement, FentanylSolution.org extended its reach to the “Addressing Public Safety in Orange County” event held on January 30, 2024, at Ladera Ranch Middle School. Led by Orange County Supervisor District 5, Katrina Foley, alongside Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, and Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Christopher Brown, the event prioritized proactive measures to enhance community safety.

While the discussions at this event encompassed a broader spectrum of public safety concerns, such as crime prevention strategies, we remained steadfast in its commitment to addressing the opioid crisis. Through its resource booth, the organization continued to provide essential naloxone kits, fentanyl test strips, and educational materials, ensuring that attendees remained informed and empowered to take action.

Our participation at both events underscored the organization’s pivotal role in mobilizing community responses to the opioid crisis. By fostering partnerships with local stakeholders and delivering tangible resources and education, we exemplified a proactive approach to tackling one of the most pressing public health challenges of our time.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Father Charged in Fentanyl Tragedy

In a heart-wrenching incident, a 24-year-old father from Bakersfield, Raul Rivera, has been charged with first-degree murder in the tragic death of his 2-year-old son, Ezekiel Rivera. The toddler succumbed to a fentanyl overdose in June, leading to the father’s arrest on January 24, 2024.

Ezekiel was discovered lifeless in his father’s room almost 22 hours after being last seen alive on surveillance cameras. Raul Rivera, who is also facing charges of willful cruelty to a child in relation to his then 3-year-old son, is being held in jail with a $1 million bail.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Kern County Superior Court, autopsy results confirmed Ezekiel’s fentanyl overdose. The statement alleges that Rivera was aware of the dangers of fentanyl, failed to protect his children, and obstructed Ezekiel from receiving timely medical attention.

Surveillance footage revealed Ezekiel entering his father’s room at 1:40 a.m. on June 5, where Raul Rivera admitted to using fentanyl. Later that day, Ezekiel was seen being carried out of the room in a seemingly lifeless state. Rivera had fled the home before law enforcement arrived, expressing doubt that medical aid would benefit his son.

Investigations uncovered drug paraphernalia in Rivera’s home, including residue on furniture where fentanyl was allegedly consumed, two narcotics smoking pipes, and evidence of past drug use. Additionally, Soluna Lora, Ezekiel’s mother, filed a claim against the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, asserting that deputies failed to remove her children from Rivera’s home despite her warnings about his drug-related activities.

Lora’s attorney, Humberto Guizar, emphasized the need for accountability and better training for law enforcement in handling such cases. The tragic incident underscores the importance of addressing civil rights issues and ensuring the safety of children in vulnerable situations. As legal proceedings unfold, the community awaits justice for Ezekiel Rivera.

As we grapple with the heartbreaking case of Raul Rivera and the tragic loss of young Ezekiel, it is essential to recognize the urgent need for awareness and preventive measures in the face of the fentanyl epidemic. At FentanylSolution.org, our mission revolves around educating communities about the dangers of fentanyl and advocating for solutions to combat its devastating impact. Through our programming, we strive to empower individuals with information, support, and resources to prevent such heartbreaking incidents. Join us in our commitment to creating a safer environment for families by exploring our initiatives at FentanylSolution.org, as we work towards a future where no family has to endure the pain caused by this dangerous substance. Together, we can make a difference and protect our loved ones from the pervasive threat of fentanyl.

Source: Bakersfield News

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Stomp! VIP Launch Party

Join us for a memorable evening of entertainment, networking, and raising awareness at the Stomp! VIP Launch Party. Sponsored by Be Good Restaurant & Experience. Get ready to indulge in an exclusive celebration featuring thrilling performances by Freedom Aerial, Jennalyn, and Joe Sparrow.

Sip on signature cocktails, mocktails, and non-alcoholic concoctions while mingling in our VIP lounge. Prepare to be dazzled by the flair bartending skills of TikTok sensation Mikey D’Amato, who will be crafting drinks with flair and finesse.

Don’t miss out on this prelude to the main event! The Stomp! VIP Launch Party sets the stage for the excitement of the upcoming Stomp! Fentanyl Fashion Show & Silent Auction. Whether you’re attending both events or just joining us for the launch party, your presence makes a difference.

Secure your spot now and let’s stomp out fentanyl together by purchasing your ticket here!

Have questions? Contact Christine at christine@fentanylsolution.org.

We Take the Lead: Resource Tables Across Multiple Events for a Safer Tomorrow

Buena Park’s 67th Annual Silverado Days

At the heart of the vibrant Annual Silverado Days, a free-spirited celebration awaited families with delectable food, engaging contests, lively entertainment, thrilling games, and carnival rides. The entire community came together for three days of pure enjoyment. Amidst this festive atmosphere, our organization made a meaningful impact by showing their unwavering support to Buena Park.

Through our presence at the festival, our organization actively contributed to the community spirit, emphasizing the importance of collective well-being. In joining the festivities, we emphasized our commitment to fostering a safe and joyful environment for all.

Community Health & Resource Fair brought to you by Senator Tom Umberg and City Councilmember Ahmad Zahra

At our resource booth, our organization provided essential information and resources aimed at raising awareness about the fentanyl crisis and promoting community well-being. Engaging with attendees, we emphasized the significance of recognizing and addressing the challenges posed by illicit substances.

The event, spearheaded by influential Buena Park community leaders, served as a dynamic platform for fostering health consciousness and building connections within the community. Our active participation underscored our commitment to proactive initiatives that contribute to a healthier and more informed society.

Addressing the Fentanyl Crisis with Sen. Blakespear, DA of OC Todd Spitzer and Mayor of Mission Viejo Goodell

We took a proactive stance in addressing the fentanyl crisis by hosting a booth at the event featuring prominent figures such as Senator Catherine Blakespear, District Attorney of Orange County Todd Spitzer, and Mayor of Mission Viejo Brian Goodell.

At our booth, we engaged with attendees, providing crucial information and resources on recognizing and combatting the challenges posed by illicit fentanyl.

Our participation alongside influential leaders highlighted our organization’s dedication to fostering a united front against the fentanyl crisis in collaboration with key stakeholders in the community.

Our participation at these events actively promoted awareness about the fentanyl crisis and emphasized the importance of collective health. Our dedication, highlighted by active engagement and collaboration with influential leaders, reflects our ongoing commitment to proactive initiatives. Together, we strive to create a safer, healthier, and more informed society for the entire community.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


November Wake Up! Newport – The Silent Tide…The Economic Impact of Fentanyl in Newport Beach

In a noteworthy initiative to address the pressing issue of the fentanyl crisis, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce recently hosted Janice M. Celeste, the President and former CEO of our organization, as a keynote speaker at their renowned event, Wake Up! Newport. Her presentation focused on the severe impact of illicit fentanyl on the local community.

She delved into the alarming statistics, emphasizing the rising number of fentanyl-related incidents and the profound consequences it has on individuals and families. By addressing the grim reality of the crisis, Janice aimed to create awareness and inspire action within the Newport Beach community.

A crucial aspect of Janice’s presentation was the introduction of naloxone and its role in mitigating the consequences of a fentanyl overdose. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that can rapidly reverse opioid overdoses.

Janice highlighted the importance of making naloxone readily available to the community and provided information on how individuals can obtain and administer this life-saving medication as our organization is a county recognized Naloxone Distribution Site. Please reach out to christine@fentanylsolution.org for free naloxone.

Janice M. Celeste passionately advocated for the inclusion of naloxone in first aid kits at home and in vehicles, emphasizing that being prepared can make a significant difference in saving lives. She informed the audience that her organization offers naloxone training to empower community members with the skills and knowledge needed to respond effectively in emergency situations

Beyond naloxone, we advocate for the efficacy of harm reduction tools in saving lives. We have collaborated with the CEO of a local Orange County fentanyl test strip manufacturing company called Wisebatch, Bryce Batcheller, to provide access to these essential tools.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Powerful Discourse on Fentanyl: Insights from State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Judge James Gray, and Janice M. Celeste at World Affairs Council Event

In a compelling event organized by The World Affairs Council of Orange County and California State University, Fullerton, key figures convened to address the pressing issue of the fentanyl epidemic. The distinguished panel featured State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, and Judge James Gray, providing a comprehensive discussion on the far-reaching impact of fentanyl and effective strategies for combating it.

One of the highlights of the event was a poignant speech delivered by Janice M. Celeste, President and former CEO of our organization. Celeste shed light on the dangers of illicit fentanyl, emphasizing its indiscriminate nature that can affect anyone. She emphasized that those who believe they are immune to such risks are often the most vulnerable. Celeste’s speech resonated with the audience as she passionately discussed the need for awareness and proactive measures.

Addressing the critical role of parents in the fight against the fentanyl epidemic, Celeste provided valuable insights on how families can protect themselves. Her expertise and commitment to combating the illicit fentanyl crisis were evident throughout the event, inspiring attendees to take an active stance against this growing threat.

The event served as a platform for open dialogue and collaboration, fostering a collective understanding of the challenges posed by fentanyl. With State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Judge James Gray, and Janice M. Celeste at the forefront, the discussions provided not only awareness but also actionable strategies to address the fentanyl epidemic at its core.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Free Fentanyl-Related Community Reference Aid Resources

The opioid crisis has taken a devastating toll on communities across the United States, and Southern California is no exception. To combat the rising threat of fentanyl-related overdoses, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center (JRIC), in partnership with the Overdose Response Strategy (ORS), has undertaken a comprehensive landscape analysis.

This analysis spans seven counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County.

The Goal? 

To identify and provide access to free services for those in need of fentanyl test strips, naloxone, and prevention/treatment services. 

The Need for Action

The opioid crisis has grown increasingly dire in recent years, with fentanyl emerging as a particularly lethal component of this epidemic. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, making it a significant contributor to opioid-related overdoses. To address this crisis, it is imperative to provide resources and support to those at risk and their communities.

The Landscape Analysis

The landscape analysis is a pioneering effort to map out the availability of free services related to fentanyl across Southern California. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between individuals in need and the essential resources required for their safety and recovery. The seven counties covered by the analysis represent a substantial portion of the region’s population, making this endeavor all the more significant.

Accessible Resources

Recognizing the diversity of the Southern California population, the JRIC and ORS have gone the extra mile by providing resources in both English and Spanish. This inclusivity ensures that language barriers do not hinder individuals from accessing life-saving assistance. Whether you speak English or Spanish, these resources are readily available to you, reaffirming the commitment to leaving no one behind in the battle against opioid addiction. By clicking on a specific county and version, users can access a one-page list of free fentanyl resources. 

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The opioid crisis is an ever-evolving challenge. These resources will be updated every six months. This commitment to ongoing improvement ensures that individuals and organizations can rely on accurate and up-to-date information when assisting those in need. 

Sharing the Lifeline

By identifying and sharing these resources, we empower individuals and organizations to take action, save lives, and build healthier communities. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against fentanyl poisonings.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Narcan Hits Shelves at Major Retailers: A Lifesaving Solution to California’s Fentanyl Crisis

In a significant step towards combating the alarming rise of fentanyl-related fatalities, Narcan, a life-saving medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, is set to become more accessible than ever. Major retailers, including CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid, are now stocking their shelves with Narcan, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the devastating opioid crisis that continues to plague our communities.

The Urgent Need for Narcan in California

The urgency of this development cannot be overstated, particularly in California, where the illicit use of fentanyl has reached catastrophic proportions. Recent statistics reveal that a staggering 117

Californians succumb to illicit fentanyl poisonings every week. This harrowing reality underscores the critical importance of Narcan’s widespread availability, as it has the potential to save countless lives and serve as a crucial tool in the fight against this deadly epidemic.

FentanylSolution.org: A Beacon of Hope

In response to this dire situation, our organization has emerged as a beacon of hope and a key player in the battle against opioid overdoses. Operating as a Naloxone Distribution

Center, we have taken significant strides to ensure that Narcan is easily accessible to those who need it most. Our organization’s mission revolves around providing immediate access to Narcan, with the ultimate goal of minimizing the tragic loss of life caused by fentanyl overdoses.

Convenient Access in Newport Beach

Our office is located in Newport Beach, CA. We offer a readily available resource for anyone seeking Narcan. Our office serves as a welcoming and nonjudgmental space

for individuals, families, and concerned citizens to obtain this life-saving medication. In a crisis where time is of the essence, we ensure that Narcan is just a visit away. Please call 888-931-6244 for more information. 

The arrival of Narcan at major retailers and the dedication of our organization mark a turning point in the fight against the opioid epidemic, particularly in California. With hundreds of lives lost weekly to illicit fentanyl use, the need for accessible Narcan has never been greater. It is a critical tool that belongs in every first aid kit, and its presence on store shelves signifies progress towards a safer, more informed, and compassionate society. As we continue this battle against opioid overdoses, let us remember that knowledge, empathy, and readily available resources like Narcan can be the difference between life and death, offering hope to countless individuals and their families.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


Unraveling the Deadly Grip of Fentanyl on America & The World

The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents:

Unraveling the Deadly Grip of Fentanyl on America & The World

featuring:

State Senator Tom Umberg

California is facing an unprecedented drug crisis both in scale and nature, requiring timely legislative responses. Fentanyl, a type of synthetic opioid, is responsible for over two-thirds of drug-related deaths, which spiked last year to 21,000 in California alone. The crisis is especially prevalent in Orange County, with deaths by fentanyl overdose reported to have gone up by 177%, and more potent analogs of fentanyl continued to be found. Moreover, fentanyl is often unknowingly consumed by individuals who believe they are taking other drugs, meaning that the fatal risk of a fentanyl overdose is not taken into consideration by those accidentally taking them, resulting in preventable deaths. Fentanyl precursors are largely sourced from abroad, in places like China and India, which are then shipped to Mexico, where most production takes place. Collaboration with these countries to crack down on fentanyl’s production and movement is integral if wish to halt the fentanyl epidemic in the United States.

To tackle this urgent crisis, Senator Tom Umberg proposes several legislative measures: Senate Bill 60, aimed at preventing drug sales on social media, a main outlet for illicit drugs for the youth; Senate Bill 250, expanding the 9-1-1 Good Samaritan Law and providing fentanyl immunity, encouraging people to report their dealers; Senate Concurrent Resolution 39, establishing National Fentanyl Awareness Day; and Senate Bill 44, also known as Alexandra’s Law, which aims to hold fentanyl sellers accountable for homicide and prevent fentanyl-related deaths through warnings.

An In-Person Dinner Event

Date & Time:

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

5:30 PM: Reception

6:30 PM: Dinner & Main Program

Location:

To be announced at a later date

Tickets:

To be announced at a later date

Thank you to our community partner, ClearSaves!

ClearSaves is an altruistic nonprofit endeavor fervently committed to engendering positive change within society by championing harm reduction. Through its innovative modus operandi, ClearSaves aspires to furnish the populace with vital resources that facilitate the safeguarding of human lives from the perilous peripheries of the opioid crisis. Check out the ClearSaves table at our event for resources and information on how you can help.

Thank you to our community partner, FentanylSolution.org!

FentanylSolution.org’s mission is to deliver comprehensive education, powerful advocacy, and unwavering community support to eradicate fentanyl deaths in the United States. Let us know how we can partner with you or your organization to make a difference. Check out the Fentanyl Solution booth at our event for more information and resources on the fentanyl crisis!

Speaker Bio: Thomas J. Umberg

State Senator Thomas J. Umberg is the Chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, former federal criminal prosecutor, four-term state legislator, small business owner, and was the Deputy Drug Czar for President Clinton.

Senator Umberg began his military service at the Korean DMZ and was deployed overseas for three tours – totaling over five years. In addition to his overseas deployments, Colonel Umberg was assigned as a paratrooper with the Army Special Operations Command and the XVIII Airborne Corps.

As a federal and military prosecutor, Senator Umberg prosecuted numerous white collar, civil rights, murder, and sexual assault crimes. He successfully tried over 100 cases to verdict or judgment.

Senator Umberg served as Deputy Drug Czar for President Bill Clinton where he was responsible for foreign drug interdiction, counter-drug intelligence, and international drug policy. Umberg has a deep understanding of the strategies and resources we need to stop the current opioid epidemic and to put an end to senseless gun violence in our communities.

Senator Umberg also served three terms in the State Assembly, representing central Orange County. During this time, he worked across party lines, authored 76 laws, and brought more than $563 million in funds to Orange County.

Senator Umberg founded and built a successful veteran-owned small business in Orange County, recognized as one of California’s preeminent boutique law firms by Best Lawyers and The Daily Journal. Senator Umberg knows how to run a business and is a strong advocate for local business owners helping them to cut red tape and streamline unnecessary regulation.

Senator Umberg and his wife, Brigadier General (retired) Robin Umberg, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Education:

University of California, Los Angeles – Bachelor of Arts
University of California, College of Law, San Francisco – Juris Doctor
US Army War College — Master of Strategic Studies

Committees:

Chair of Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary
Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee
Senate Housing Committee
Senate Transportation Committee
Joint Committee on Rules

Speaker Bio: Judge (ret.) James Gray

Jim Gray retired after serving as a trial court judge for 25 years here in Orange County. After graduating from UCLA he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica, and after graduating from USC Law School

served as a criminal defense attorney in the US Navy JAG Corps. Thereafter he was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. While on the Court he founded Peer Court, which now takes real juvenile delinquency cases to 14 Orange County high schools, where they empanel a jury of high school students who ask questions to the subject, who has already acknowledged involvement in the offenses. Then that jury recommends a sentence to a real judge and, if the subject successfully completes the sentence, the underlying charges are dismissed, and the subject does not have a record. Judge Gray is committed to the WACOC, and is one of its prior chairs.