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Rio Favorite Ulvaeus dies of possible opioid overdose while in custody at Santa Barbara Main Jail


SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – An inmate, identified as 45-year-old Rio Favorite Ulvaeus of Santa Barbara, at the Santa Barbara Main Jail died of a possible opioid overdose on Thursday night, according to the County Sheriff's Office.

A custody deputy and a WellPath nurse found Ulvaeus unresponsive, not breathing and foaming at the mouth while they were conducting welfare checks around 10:57 p.m., according to SBCSO.

Deputies and medical staff, followed by paramedics, all attempted life-saving measures including three rounds of Narcan, but Ulvaeus did not recover.

The sheriff's office said his death is under investigation, but preliminary information indicates Ulvaeus likely died of an opioid overdose.

Ulvaeus was booked into Santa Barbara Main Jail on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 1:42 p.m. on multiple felony charges including possession of a controlled substance for sale, unlawful possession of ammunition, and vehicle theft.

The sheriff's office said Sheriff Brown would like to remind the community about the immediate dangers posed by the presence of fentanyl, the highly addictive and exceedingly dangerous synthetic opioid that continues to claim countless lives nationwide, leaving communities in crisis.

"Recognizing the urgent need to combat this lethal epidemic head-on, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office continues to join our partners in Project Opioid to increase awareness about the opioid crisis and to provide FREE Narcan – a powerful tool in the fight against opioid overdoses that has the potential to reverse the fatal effects of fentanyl and provide a glimmer of hope in the face of this devastating crisis," said the sheriff's office. 

Free Narcan is also available from Pacific Pride Foundation, the Santa Barbara Opioid Safety CoalitionUC Santa Barbara Student Health Services Alcohol and Drug Program, and Fentanyl is Forever SB.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Project Opioid
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Main Jail

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