New street drug is surfacing, threatening to make California's overdose crisis worse

February 19, 2023

Deb Walker of Chester, Vt., lost daughter Brooke Goodwin, 23, to an overdose involving xylazine in 2021. And unlike opioids, xylazine is not affected by naloxone, the medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses, Tsai said. "The main concern is we're already amid the worst overdose crisis in history, nationally and locally," he said. In 2019, the county recorded 1,652 accidental overdose deaths, including 462 linked to fentanyl, according to the county's Department of Public Health. By 2021, the number of accidental overdose deaths in the county had risen to 2,741, with 1,504 caused by fentanyl.