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Experts warn of the role that drug addiction is playing in local homelessness

The 2023 Riverside County Homeless Point-in-Time count was presented to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. The county says drug addiction is playing a huge role specifically here in the Coachella Valley.

As we reported, there was a 12 percent overall increase in the homeless from last year. The county says compared to other parts of the state, the valley's homeless population is younger with huge addiction problems and most of those problems include meth or fentanyl.

News Channel 3's Peter Daut spoke about the topic with Greg Rodriguez, deputy director of Riverside County Housing and Workforce Solutions.

"Is this a trend that you expect to continue, and where do we go from here?" Peter asked Rodriguez.

Rodriguez answered, "I think there has to be state and federal legislation in addressing this crisis. I think there needs to be more enforcement and I'll give the administration credit for the enforcement on cross-border trafficking of fentanyl."

"The county has embarked on a really aggressive fentanyl awareness campaign. Even targeted enforcement for those that are selling and distributing, and hopefully that will trickle down and I know in partnership with the Palm Springs Police Department, as well as other valley police departments and the Sheriff, we're really trying to address that. It is a serious, significant problem," Rodriguez said.

You can check out the PIT count below:

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Article Topic Follows: Homeless

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