Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 23, 2024
Join Ventura’s Fight Against Fentanyl as Ventura College Hosts DA's Awareness and Prevention EventSource: Ventura County District Attorney’s Office

Tackling the fentanyl crisis head-on, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office is set to host a special event focusing on the potent drug that's wreaking havoc across communities. As part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), a ceremony at Ventura College on April 25, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., aims to raise awareness about crime victims with a particular focus this year on "Fentanyl Awareness & Prevention: Options, Services and Hope for Crime Survivors." The college's Guthrie Hall will serve as the venue for a gathering that promises to confront a chilling reality. According to a statement from the District Attorney's Office, since 1981, local authorities have worked to put crime victims front and center during this annual event.

Fentanyl's ruthless grip on the community has prompted action, with Ventura County's District Attorney Erik Nasarenko saying, "The focus of this year's event is to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl." In a blow to too many local families, 2023 saw 265 overdose deaths, with fentanyl found in 178 victims' systems. The upcoming march and speakers seek to directly address and to seriously highlight this pressing issue.

Amid the pressing crisis, the ceremony will also recognize individuals who have turned personal tragedy into a fight for justice and hope. Fay Martin, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose in 2021, will be honored with the Resilience Award for her work to raise awareness about the dangers of this drug. Local detectives and the Ventura County Fentanyl and Overdose Crimes Unit (VC FOCUS) will also receive accolades for their staunch advocacy for victims of fentanyl. As noted, District Attorney Nasarenko will shine a light on the subject as the event's keynote speaker.

Support for victims and education remains at the forefront, with over 25 community-based organizations and government agencies set to provide vital resources and information. As an added safeguard, Ventura County Public Health and Ventura County Behavioral Health will distribute Naloxone — a lifesaver that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. Culminating the event, attendees are encouraged to join a unifying march around the college campus, with the added comfort of food provided by Habit Burger, thanks to the Ventura County Family Justice Center Foundation.

Open to the public, the event serves as a call to action and a moment of solidarity, encouraging community members to stand together against the scourge of fentanyl. Registration details and additional information are available via the district attorney’s website. Members of the media looking to cover the ceremony and ensuing march can reach out using the provided contact information for interviews and further coordination.