AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County has seen hundreds of overdose deaths over the past few years.
"There were 308 overdose-related deaths in 2021," said Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza. "It was a 20% increase from the year before."
Travis County has started a campaign to raise awareness about this issue. It's called Safer Together and the goal is to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths.
"Right now there is a crisis where people are inadvertently ingesting fentanyl and it is killing people," Garza said.
While educating people about this public health crisis, Garza said there also has to be more available resources like naloxone.
Phil Owen struggled with addiction and lost his son to an overdose. He said the more places you can find naloxone, the better.
"I applaud the schools that allowed for Narcan or Naloxone to be brought in," Owen said.
As a musician, he said he would like to see Narcan in bars and music venues as well. Any place that someone might use drugs should have access to this life-saving medication.
"It is a reminder that this crisis touches everyone in our community," Garza added.
KXAN wanted to know where the source of these drugs was coming from.
"I think it is coming from multiple places. I think some of it is [coming from the border], but I think we have seen cases of fentanyl coming from out of state and other parts of the United States," Garza said.
He added the DA's office is continuing work to find people who are distributing these dangerous drugs and taking action when they do.
"We are currently working with our law enforcement partners — we have cases in the pipeline that we will hopefully be able to share about in the near future," he said.