OXNARD, Calif.-A death in the family inspired Oxnard Mayor John Zaragoza to write a letter to the editor about fentanyl.
The mayor's letter was recently published in the Ventura County Star.
"In fact, I just lost a nephew who lives up in the Madera, Merced area and fentanyl is an opiate that is really devastating the community, devastating families and siblings, individuals who don't realize that if they take cannabis or some other opiates they don't realize fentanyl is laced in those products and consequently they don't understand that and therefore we are losing a lot of people," said Zaragoza.
According to medical journals the opioid attaches to receptors in the brain and spinal cord.
While is may cause euphoric feelings, it also slows breathing and causes a deadly drop in blood pressure.
Oxnard Police Chief Jason Benites told the mayor that his officers respond daily to overdoses.
Last year 50 people died from overdoses in Oxnard.
Officers used Naloxone also known as Narcan 64 time to to reverse fentanyl's effects.
"I am very concerned about that. I think parents should be educated."
Zaragoza plans to meet with Ventura County's CEO to discuss fentanyl and mental health issues this week.