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KPBS Midday Edition

San Diego Saw Sharp Increase In Fentanyl Deaths Throughout Pandemic Lockdowns

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Phoenix Division shows a closeup of the fentanyl-laced sky blue pills known on the street as "Mexican oxy.
(Drug Enforcement Administration
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Phoenix Division shows a closeup of the fentanyl-laced sky blue pills known on the street as "Mexican oxy.

County statistics show that deaths from fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, more than doubled in the past two years, while seizures of the drug along the San Diego-Mexico border continue to rise.

San Diego saw a sharp increase in fentanyl related deaths during the region's COVID lockdowns in particular.

RELATED: San Diego County To Make Overdose Reversing Drug Available In Community

Health officials project the number of deaths due to fentanyl overdose this year will reach a staggering 700 people.

Dr. Carla Marienfeld is a board-certified addiction psychiatrist at UC San Diego.

She joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk more about the increase in fentanyl usage in San Diego.