SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors are working to combat the county’s opioid and fentanyl crisis. 

On Tuesday, supervisors directed the county’s staff to develop a plan that focuses on treatment options, education on fentanyl and opioids for the public and more access to life-saving medication for overdoses. 

“As the parent of a college sophomore and a recent college grad, this is an issue that feels very personal to me,” said Dave Pine, president of the Board of Supervisors and organizer of the session. “I think the emphasis on education just has to be continuously called out. Our best approach is educating residents, especially youth and young adults, about the lethality of these drugs.”

According to a report by the county, there were 66 fentanyl-related deaths in 2021. “Any death is tragic,” said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County health officer. “It is assured that youth use and youth death will increase.”

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County supervisors said they want the following actions a part of the plan:

  • Launch awareness campaigns such as billboards that target youth and families in multiple languages.
  • Improve data collection to help identify at-risk communities.
  • Increase access of medication that can reverse effects of drug overdoses.
  • Develop good communication between schools, public safety officials, the county’s health department and more.