SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Fentanyl-related deaths have been increasing in California, according to data gathered by the state.

During the second quarter of 2021, when the most recent data was reported, the annualized quarterly rate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Calfornia rose to a record of 12.5 or 1,251 per 100,000 residents, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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In Sacramento County, that number was 2.7 residents per 100,000, which was down from 3.42 the previous year.

Opioid-related deaths have increased sharply in recent years, with a large portion of its abusers being between the ages of 20 and 60. However, its effects are also being seen in younger Californians as well.

Drug and alcohol counselor Kathryn Klepper told TV station KSBY on Thursday that there has been an intense rise in fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths in San Luis Obispo County, with users getting younger.

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“We’ve just been seeing a rise, a steady rise in the number of overdoses, and also the age is getting younger of the first use,” said Klepper.

In Sacramento County, leaders announced last year free Narcan, an emergency nasal spray treatment for opioid overdose, would be handed out.

“When you have 186 people that have died from fentanyl poisoning since January 2020, that’s very, very significant and what we’re trying to do is raise awareness,”  Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. “We do have an epidemic of fentanyl in our community, and people need to know how dangerous it is and how quickly it can kill somebody.”

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