Saturday, June 3, 2023

A Fatal Overdose in a Fort Bragg Parking Lot Evokes the Dark Reality of Mendocino County’s Opioid Crisis

A homeless encampment on Ukiah’s Brush Street last winter before it was dismantled [Picture by Matt LaFever]

At approximately 10:20 a.m., first responders in Fort Bragg were deployed to the Safeway parking lot on the 600 block of South Main Street where a subject was reportedly in a vehicle in the midst of a drug overdose.

Moments after the initial callout, Fort Bragg Police officers on the scene relayed to the dispatcher that the patient had died. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on route to the scene to process the patient.

This morning’s death is a somber reminder that in 2021 Mendocino County experienced the second-highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the Golden State. The California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard indicates 47 people died of overdoses last year. This overdose crisis continues to afflict our rural county despite the ubiquity of Narcan, the overdose-reversing drug used by first responders.

In general, the North Coast of California has a disproportionately high rate of drug abuse and addiction compared to the rest of California Treatment can help. The following resources are available to those seeking support for themselves or their loved ones:

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  1. Mistreatment is the largest cause of self medication. If Mendocino County spent half as much combating poverty and homelessness as they spend harming the poor the money saved by taxpayers would amaze. But the police and courts need your money more than the poor do.

  2. I can’t figure out the connection between this unfortunate photo and the person who OD’d in Ft. Bragg.

    Was it her? If not, why did you choose to use this photo?

    This is NOT a personal attack on you Matt. I promise. It’s just that the photo doesn’t go with the article. Unless it was her who died. Was it?

  3. Matt, Thank you for sharing “The California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard.” I have often wondered about that. I was unaware of its existence.

  4. Once again you blame it on the wrong thing it’s all drugs not just opioid come on give me a break there’s no different than heroin and methamphetamine cocaine and all other objects of drug illicit drugs and they’re only in the community because we allow it it’s a constant revolving door they get arrested they go to jail they get jobs they go back to using drugs it’s time to change this it’s time to put all the homeless drug addicts and alcoholics or even if they’re not drug addicts and alcoholics put them inside somewhere where you can work with them one on one just tell them that someone does care you know I know a lot of people don’t care about whatever happens to anybody else but themselves but it’s time people if you want to save your communities you need to start getting involved in the drug addicts around your community and alcoholics and rapists and whatever else we have out there I witnessed it all I felt it all when I was homeless for 8 years living out amongst them I’m still clean and sober I wonder why well it’s because people started caring about me and that gave me the strength to keep going clean and sober and wanting to help others like myself still homelessness is an ugly picture not nice very nasty because of financial difficulties you won’t let someone in that’s a No-No that you have to make them wait to get housing that’s another no no come on people be more proactive you know how many empty houses and apartments there are here in Ukiah that you can turn into homeless projects get them done do it run them right the one that we have the building bridges it’s a laughing situation they really need help learning how to control their homeless population that stays there. Shouldn’t even be allowed to be open the way they run it it’s just another drug den allowing them to meet greet and do what they need to do with their drugs. Come on you guys it’s time to wake up and do the right thing five pieces of property that already has housing on it or already has apartments on it and if it doesn’t build them build at least a 50 unit apartment for women as emergency shelter transitioning into permanent housing later I’ll give them up to a year 2 years as long as they follow the rules and testing is a part of those rules for drugs and alcohol and only women are allowed in the women’s shelter with proper counseling individually they will be successful in years to come to learn how to love themselves and do what’s right in their lives I know I’m one of them that used to be I have not been clean and sober for 26 years thank God thank the people in my community that cared about me my doctors my nurses my case workers that cared enough to show me that I can do better and that I am better being clean and sober today I don’t know who’s reading this but God bless you and may your heart find the right way to start things going in our communities together we can do this believe me you don’t want to try it alone I’ve been doing it for the past eight years working with the drug addicts in the community some successful some outright dangerous you have to walk around them like you’re walking on rice paper God bless you all signing up San Juanita Valdez

    • A self inflicted bullet, a car flying off the cliff, a needle to the vein. one way or another whatever it takes if someone is tired or pissed or just had enough. You can’t save em all. And thats just how it is. Moving right along…

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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