Spindrift February 2, 2023


Our meeting convened at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. 33 were in attendance, including 12 non-members who accepted our invitation to attend our special presentation on fentanyl. Pres. Ken DuFour asked Mike Gertner to lead the invocation, in which he expressed gratitude for all the things that we have to be thankful for. Leo Fracalosy led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Pres. Ken then recognized those who were invited and gave well deserved credit to Cynthia Strasmann for making this event a success. Our Secretary, Richard Swinney, introduced his guest, Hope Manzaneres, Chief Philanthropy Officer of the Priority Center, a.k.a. O. C. Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC), for which our club provided the initial funding. Roger Summers introduced his guest, Chris Farwell from Hope Alliance, who is planning on presenting her organization to us at a future date. Cynthia then introduced our other guests: O.C. Councilperson Robyn Grant, Lisa Harbilas, Nancy Haase, Lisa Boler, Juliet Hover, Melissa Perez, Ruth and Grant Reynolds, Karen Yelsey, and Krista Weigand. Leo Fracalosy then invited all our guests to consider membership in our club.

L to R: Hope Manzaneres, Cynthia Strasmann, Chris Farwell, Juliet Hover, Sgt. Brian Gonsolley, Lisa
Boler, Karen Yelsey, and Robyn Grant

FENTANYL PRESENTATION - Our speaker, Sgt. Brian Gonsolley, is Deputy Sheriff of the O.C. Sheriff’s Department, Drug Prevention Education Unit. Sgt. Gonsolley, a 23-year OCSD veteran, is responsible for providing safety education for schools and the community. He focused primarily on making us aware of the issues involving fentanyl as a street drug from a law enforcement perspective, and the steps that parents, grandparents, educators and health professionals can take to reduce the incidence of accidents and deaths in our community.

Between 85 and 95% of crimes committed in our community are alcohol or drug related. Gonsolley’s approach focuses on prevention rather than treatment, so he educates children and parents on drug related issues. Since 2015, there has been a 1,600% increase in mortality related to drug use, and it continues to rise. It is the #1 killer of teenagers, exceeding traffic accidents, shootings, and all other causes. In the O.C., there were 19 deaths related to drug use in 2021.

The highest risk factor leading to drug use is peer pressure. Drug dealers use social media to sell their products, and Snapchat is their favorite because messages using this platform disappear shortly after they are sent, making them difficult to trace. Alt- hough Snapchat is making an effort to control this issue, it is not enough. Moreover, if Snapchat is no longer available to drug dealers, they will progress to other platforms.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid analgesic. It is commonly used as a safe and effective medication by the medical profession. However, street fentanyl is not medical grade. The potency of pills manufactured by different illicit producers, and even among different batches made by the same producer is often unreliable. More-over, people who use these drugs have different degrees of tolerance and need. What would be a harmless dose for one person could be enough to cause an overdose or kill another. Virtually all of the street fentanyl comes from Mexico, and it is very profitable. Fentanyl is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and 30-50 times more potent than heroin. The most common street fentanyl pill is blue in color, but multicolor pills are becoming more common, and can be mistaken for candy by children.

As with all opioids, fentanyl acts as a respiratory depressant, and an overdose may cause rapid respiratory arrest and death. First responders in many areas now carry Narcan, which counteracts the depressant effect, and can save a life. Many school districts are being supplied with Narcan for such emergencies.

Between the ages of 10 and 25, the human brain is still developing, and is much more vulnerable to goal-directed behavior at this age range. Addicts have one goal in life: to get the drug! They will sacrifice everything in their lives to get it: their assets, friendships, and family relationships. Their existence is day-to-day. Their brains are hijacked and talking to them doesn’t work. The reality is that, unfortunately, we are currently raising our kids in a society which has normalized drug use. If parents are using drugs in the home it becomes an acceptable practice, and their children are at higher risk. The current goal is to mitigate the problem rather than eliminate it. We must reduce drug use in the community, and parents need to take more responsibility for this. They should see the signs of drug use: lack of interest in schoolwork or family activities, anxiety, reclusiveness. They should monitor their child’s cell phone use, check backpacks for drugs, and know who they associate with in and out of school. At home, children need assurance that they are loved, accepted, and wanted, and they are more likely to go to their parents when they are having problems, e.g. addiction. If left without adequate parental supervision and love, they may make the wrong decisions.

The “War on Drugs” has not worked! We as a society must look towards the longterm management of drug use; it might take generations to be successful. In order to change course, we need to start educating our children at an early age; train parents, teachers, athletic coaches, physicians and health care professionals, etc. to recognize and develop effective treatment protocols.

For more information, please contact Sgt Gonsolley at bdgonsolley@ocsheriff.gov or call him at (714)795-8932.
RAFFLE – Shirley Lashmett and Hope Manzaneres won this week’s raffle. Each went home with $30.



Feb 2   -  Chase Wickersham, American Legion

Pres. Ken DuFour

Feb 9   -  Kim Smith, El Paso, Border Patrol (Ed Kohlmeyer’s Daughter)

Feb 16   -  Business Meeting

Feb 23   -   Dave Robbins: History of Robbins Ford

This week’s meeting will be held at the Bahia Corinthian. Lunch will be served at 12:20 p.m. You will be emailed an invitation two days before the meeting. Please notify Richard Swinney by this Wednesday at 2 pm if you are planning on attending.

David Schapiro, Editor

David Schapiro, Editor