San Diego

Fentanyl Overdose Cases Continue to Rise in San Diego County

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid that is 40 to 50 times more powerful than heroin

A Fentanyl overdose killed 24 people in San Diego in the last six months, according to new numbers from the San Diego Medical Examiner.

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid that is 40 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

One of the most recent victims was 38-year-old Jennifer Duffin, owner of Jennie's Café in Oceanside. The restaurant was a favorite breakfast spot for many residents.

Now, the restaurant is gone.

"Great food, always packed and all the employees seemed to be happy," said Andrew Michael, a friend of Duffin's.

Michael worked next door to where Jennie’s Café was located.

He said "Jennie" would never let him pay for his coffee since he was one of her neighbors.

When he learned she died of a drug overdose, he said he couldn’t believe it.

"I was blown away. I’m thinking 'Not Jennie' -- the lady with kids, a smile on her face. A hard-working lady,” Michael said.

In May, Duffin was found dead inside her Vista home. Her cousin and a friend were also found dead.

The medical examiner determined Duffin died of a combined drug overdose -- in her system were ethanol, morphine, meth, and Fentanyl.

The two others died of a Fentanyl overdose.  

Over the last seven years, there have been nearly 170 Fentanyl overdoses. The largest concentrations of deaths were in the North County and in the City of San Diego.

Last year, there were 36 Fentanyl overdoses.

Click here for a map of reported Fentanyl overdose cases.

"My message to the kids or anybody else out there taking this drug, 'Stop. Stop now and get help.' There’s help out there, a lot of help," said Michael.

San Diego County offers a crisis line for alcohol and other drug abuse issues at (888) 724-7240.

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