Skip to Content

National fentanyl epidemic hits Central Coast

MGN

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)-- With the growing fentanyl epidemic in the United States, we spoke to one local addiction treatment center and a recovering addict to get a firsthand experience of the horrors of drug addiction.

Kate Englund is a counselor at the Sun Street Centers who tries to help anyone who comes in seeking help after battling her own demons.

"I came from great mom and dad and it started with alcohol," said Englund.

Her addiction escalated to cocaine and then heroin before she received help and became a counselor.

According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, nearly 92,000 people in the U.S. have died from drug-involved overdoses in 2020 and fentanyl was the main cause of most of these deaths.

Fentanyl deaths have increased six-fold from 2015 to 2020.

In California alone, 3,946 people have died because of fentanyl-related overdoses in 2020, and 5,502 people were dead due to opioid-related overdoses in California according to the Central Valley Opioid Safety Coalition.

Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties had a combined 55 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2020.

Jose Comacho arrived at the center in November and has been trying to turn his life around after he says he lost everything to drugs.

"I was on opiates, on oxycodone, morphine from a car accident and from that it led to me no longer being able to get prescription so I went to fentanyl," Camacho said "I lost my girlfriend. I lost my family. They separated from me."

Comacho like many former addicts continues to fight every day after kicking his addiction, even after being sober for an extended period of time.

Comacho said "It's horrible. My whole day depended on that drug. I got up and the first thing on my mind was, 'How am I going to get that drug?"

That was until Camacho met Englund who he describes as an amazing person and counselor.

Who better to understand and help people fight their demons than someone who has been through that same battle.

Comacho sees people receiving support and he appreciates the support provided by Sun Street.

Article Topic Follows: News

Phil Aldridge

Phil Aldridge is the Evening Anchor at KION News Channel 5/46.

Author Profile Photo

Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KION 46 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content