[Audio] Overdose deaths rising, ‘paper calls for more treatment access; Humboldt’s last week of news


In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week: The county released a gut-wrenching report indicating that the number of people here dying from overdoses keeps getting higher. Drug and alcohol overdoses are killing people in Humboldt County at rates at least three times the state average.

In their coverage the Times Standard noted that officials hope to tackle this long-standing problem by making available more addiction treatment while also specifically treating the root of the issue, trauma. Unfortunately the county has limited treatment services here and a potential program to expand service access might be impacted by a planned repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, possibly lowering the number of Medi-Cal patients that can access the program.

“If ‘D.C. repeals the Affordable Care Act and gives us no replacement then around 18,400 people here in Humboldt County are gonna lose their health care,” said Times Standard Editor Marc Valles, who decided to put out an editorial pushing for more treatment access in Humboldt County. “People without health care are gonna die faster and in greater numbers… time and Washington D.C. will tell.”

Valles also delved deeper into his conclusion that our community should not sit idly by and chalk up high overdose death rates to a result of poor life choices.

The story begins at 8:28.

Also covered: Eureka’s Wine and Swine benefit for Make-A-Wish brought in a big piggy bank and a cop maybe saved a life there, some jerk in Fortuna ruined the grass at the park again, a couple Eureka businesses are worried the cannabis industry will kick ‘em out, local musician Berel Alexander is trying to #FindDwayne, federal immigration agents have scared some in the immigrant community, that El Pueblo Market fire, the new Public Defender hire that has been criticized by some, local standouts winning awards, this wine must be really good, and much more.

  • Laytonville Rock

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31 comments

  • Especially with this new advancement, not good…..

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/may/18/home-brewed-heroin-scientists-yeast-that-can-make-sugar-into-opiates

    Doctors should be required to help patients get off the strong opiates after major surgery/recovery. Just cutting folks off knowing that they will probably end up buying on the street is super irresponsible.

    • Pain management is a team effort with the patients and the Doctors. I just had spinal surgery and we developed a plan for pain management. After the first week after the surgery, I was taking Hydrocodone 10mg every four hours, then the second week every six hours. The third and four week the dosage was reduced to 5mg every six hours. Finally, I am on my fifth week and I am on Norco for three weeks. After that we project that I should be on over the counter drugs. Having a pain management plan is essential for the prevention of opioids abuse. By the way, my wife administers the meds in order to avoid Self-medication. It is essential that you have someone administrating the meds.

    • Interesting.cristal is #1,opiate#2,in china ketamin is #2.east German patent, 1960, shows simple microbiological production of ephidrine from fermentation,with ambient yeast in air,of any disacaride sugar to ephidrine in 16 hours.proceeded by etoh,followed by vinagar.like making booze.ephidrine is easily reduced with direct current (truck battery) to desoxyephidrine (cristal).wakeup amerika.go after the real bad guys.not your children.what a bunch of loosers.you have 3000 pound cars to transport people who weigh 200 pounds..stole a lot of resources and now your running out.out of oil,out of steel,out of people to rob.i now have patent for making gasoline from inland sea deposit of phytoplankton . Now Isreal will have gasoline ,for their cars, to visit the properties they steal from the arabs.

  • I have a brother on drugs whom we have convinced to go to rehab but he needs a live in rehab and we can’t drive him to redding or Richmond.
    I know we are not the only family in this situation. We love my brother and have done everything in our power to get him clean and on his feet.
    If anyone knows of resources for us let me know.

    • Get him in to singing trees for a couple weeks and figure it out from there. Good luck.

    • He can only help himself. I know that sounds harsh but my cousin Mikey died last year of a drug over dose. Sometimes they feel they have no way out. Never ever stop loving them or turn away. I felt useless because we couldn’t help.I wish you well and hope your brother gets help💙

    • singing trees treatment center, southern humboldt, richardson’s grove
      saved my life

    • There are live in Rehabs here in Humboldt, but all full with waiting lists. call the County health Department, maybe they know of an opening..Good luck.

  • You think the problem is bad now? Just wait.
    Now that drugs will soon be legal and accepted our overdose deaths will only grow in the next few years to the point we will look back at these sorry times as the good old days.

    • Only because of the fear mongering for taxing education system our tax dollars are stolen for.
      Bring back true education, guidance, and trust.
      Kids today are choking on disinformation geared to confuse and rebel. Who wouldn’t rebel against such nonsrnse? Unfortunately, they don’t really know which parts are not nonsense.
      Educate!
      No, Oreos are NOT as addicting as heroin.
      No, vapor is not as harmful as smoke.
      No, mj is not as .. long list of nonsense.
      No, nicotine is not as addictive as heroin.
      No, you do not have adhd, you just need recess.
      No, you are not a group project, you are an individual.
      No, you are not responsible for the climate change.
      No, you are not to stifle humor, laughter, love, forgiveness, research, beliefs, privavy, intelligence, compassion, volunteering, livlihood, play, learning, …

  • I have a friend who lost her 16 year old niece to a suspected overdose. 16 people. Aside for the “boys and girls” club or after school sports, what other activities are there for your teenagers here? How many city recreational opportunities are there that the kids could be involved in without paying more money than most of them have seen in months to play a sport? As far as I can see, unless a child plays pop warner football…there aren’t a lot of after school sport opportunities. Where are the summer softball and baseball leagues? Bored kids are going to find something to entertain them with. Many don’t like video games…but heck if you kid is home playing a video game, you know s/he isn’t running the streets, with people that could introduce them to drugs out of boredom.

    We want the mentally ill and drug users to go get help….so instead of bitching and protesting against the current president, or that he has proposed a ban on travel for a few months to ensure that those that are coming in are not a security threat…….instead of relocating and placing the refugees on public assistance…

    We take that money, and oh I don’t know, call me a crazy woman….we build mental hospitals back, staff them with quality caregivers that are paid for the hazardous work conditions, so that those caregivers will stay.

    Maybe then we can stop burring our children, our sisters, our brothers or mothers or fathers.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Removing weed growing would go far in combating these drugs.

    Marijuana grows set an atmosphere of drug use, lawlessness, while growers pride themselves on being the largest thug in the community.

    If growers vanished, all these drugs would as well.

  • Heroin is an epidemic in every state Chump. Build a wall, attack ALL mexican cartels, burn the poppy fields in the middle east and regulate big pharma/physician opioid pushers. I love how the “officials” are attacking the main problem….. Trauma. You can’t hug away heroin. You stop the Mexican cartels bringing in Muslim grown opium.

    • Heroin is not coming from the Middle East. It’s coming from Mexico now. Research.

      • It comes from both, on the West coast, Mexican heroin is the King, on the East Coast, they still get Afghan White heroin…the white heroin was the first to get cut with the Fentanyl and Carfentanyl, now its starting to be seen in Mexican tar heroin in places as well…

    • tru dat!

  • 1. Decriminalize everything
    2. Release immediately and drop charges on all possession only cases; target high end traffickers (businessmen, politicians, developers, etc only)
    3. No more low level drug arrests at all. Zero. Police target high end traffickers only. (This is just the start, because prohibition does NOTHING to help addiction, only adds to the PRICE TAG, it’s on it’s way out)

    This leaves money for:

    1. The Addicted:
    a. Safe use sites across the county where amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, methadone, etc. is given clean=no street adulterants, no dirty needles, no sex for the drugs= FREE OF CHARGE at supervised sites 3 x daily, with increased and improved counseling. What passes off as Addiction Studies Certification Program now is failed tired tactics from physicians and police justifying paychecks.
    b. Increased improved supervised shelters and safe camping sites for the houseless. It’s an ever increasing mass that cannot be ignored and camping responsibly is A LOT cheaper than housing them all at the Humboldt Hilton.
    c. With the black market gone, safe housing and access to medicine, TREATMENT BEGINS. For their clean and free drugs addicts will be cleaning and working for the city. Required jobs of anyone physically able. (Having spent time on the street in cities across this country I assure more will want the safety and the job than the continued life of punishment and pain)
    d. INCREASE penalties on all other crimes: theft, rape…if you still out there committing crimes with safe access to medicine, you need locked up.
    e. USE EVERY TOOL in the tool belt; !2 Steps, Ibogaine and DMT, psychotherapy, sweat lodges, bench presses, healthy non-processed foods…ETC.

    2. The On Their Way:
    b. Youth centers across the county including everything from boxing to basket weaving to badminton, basketball, batik, baking, building, etc etc etc . What do THEY want/need?? We ask them and provide.
    c. Drug education in schools that tells the truth about everything from sugar to cannabis to opium to Viagra. Every kid has a unique talent but rarely even with parents teachers and coaches around so many go mentor less, tutor less, directionless, and with the need for community and to fit in somewhere, drugs and gangs become the most readily available other option.

    The 12 Step Community has blood on their hands. As–still–promoting itself as the “only game in town” it has created a divide between modern medicine and the power of myth. Here’s the thing: sugar is the deadliest (taking numbers) and priciest drug in our society, if you don’t include petroleum and Chinese trinkets, drop the Abstinence myth. It’s an outright lie. Cannabis is not heroin and a 13 year old girl that takes to the needle is not exactly like the 50 year old man that takes to the bottle. We are not terminally unique nor need we recover on the bones of others. WE NEED EACH OTHER (and not for bones to recover on!). Recovery is not a contest, I really don’t care about your clean time other than to say I’m glad you’re alive and well today. When Darwin speaks of EVOLUTION, he speaks of Cooperation, not Competition. Exclusivity sucks, especially when it’s being served by one time bottom feeders, anyone on whatever they need to survive that day needs to have a voice and a seat somewhere. If you are going to call yourself the “only game in town” make THAT seat available and tell the 20 yr repeat to keep quiet.

    Stop punishing people in pain. 
Take the bullshit nickel and dime cop game out of the equation, address addiction as the medical issue it is and the root causes as the societal issues they are. See some progress. 
But thats just a start. The problem runs so deep. 
The need for more, gas, land, money, land, kids, sex, food, god, exercise, et al.. must be examined.

    B-Boy Loves You.

    B-Boy doesn’t wanna hear of a dead 16 year old in any flea bag motel.

    B-Boy reminds you addicts are armed too, often to the teeth, and have NOTHING to loose, unlike you.

  • My daughter and I went to rohnert park last summer and went to a tramopine-game place. What i saw was alot of kids sweating, exercising, and having a blast! Almost like vegas for kids. Emplouee told me they’re big back east. Can you imagine a complex like that in humboldt? Families would come for miles, b-day parties, etc. It would be HUGE!😂😂also decent priced healthy snacks available! C’mon weed growers, give back…plus u need a decent write off, right?

  • Two girls that I know of overdosed on heroin last week. One in Fortuna one in Eureka. Both beautiful girls. One of the victims had a sister who overdosed on heroin a little over a year ago in Fortuna. Another beautiful life gone. This is sad beyond belief. My heart goes out to the families.

  • Great Job of reporting the important local events.

  • Check out what Switzerland does for their heroin addicts. Maybe it’s time America had this same program. Three other countries have adopted this program.

    • Her name is broklyn martini. Second dead daughter of this family. Heroin. This shit is real. Two daughters…!!!!!17 yrs old. How is this okay??? Her sister only a year ago…when will anyone listen, free rehabs! Who the hell can afford swinging trees? That’s not even close to reality. Even worse now with aca going away…fuck trump!!! We’re on our own! Don’t fucking start doing drugs, teens, or anybody! Be strong and informed. Stay informed! Protest, march, VOTE!

      • Her name is broklyn martini. Second dead daughter of this family. Heroin. This shit is real. Two daughters…!!!!!17 yrs old. How is this okay??? Her sister only a year ago…when will anyone listen, free rehabs! Who the hell can afford swinging trees? That’s not even close to reality. Even worse now with aca going away…fuck trump!!! We’re on our own! Don’t fucking start doing drugs, teens, or anybody! Be strong and informed. Stay informed! Protest, march, VOTE! Resist!

      • * Not only afford Singing Trees, more like afford 3 or 4 stays at Singing Trees. That’s closer to the reality of addiction and relapse. I love the place with all my heart. That’s no hyperbole. But I’m mad as hell hearing the same old same old as friend after friend dies… even after paying for the Trees and doing everything suggested after.

        See above ^^^.

        No one need to come off their medicine before their absolutely ready. Involve someone in Life and see if escape doesn’t become less and less attractive. If Drug Court/Mandatory Punishment for medicating your Pain is saving one life it’s destroying 100. Bet that.

  • It’s sad to hear of so many lives lost , especially the young ones. Even though most were from heroin overdose I believe the root of the modern day opiate epidemic is not heroin, it’s pharmaceutical opiates that are legal and carelessly prescribed by doctors all over this country. Heroin has been around for a long time and of course there have always been overdoses, but the record number of people addicted and or overdosing today is the result of pharmaceutical opiates and I wish the pharmaceutical industry would be held accountable. I would bet that today most people who have overdosed on heroin probably started doing pharmaceutical opiates which led them to heroin eventually, especially the young people. It’s a sad case of a few greedy people filling their pockets at the expense of millions of people’s lives.

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