Home NEWS Police/Fire Heroin Overdose In Orinda Starbucks Sunday Spotlights Recent Influx Of Young Users

Heroin Overdose In Orinda Starbucks Sunday Spotlights Recent Influx Of Young Users

Photo: Portland (Oregon) Tribune/ Christopher Onstott

NEWS24/680 readers who were present at the time expressed their shock and concern Sunday after a 17-year-old teen was discovered in the bathroom at the Theater Square Starbucks – unconscious and with a heroin needle still in his arm.

Orinda Police Chief Mark Nagel confirmed an account of the incident posted on our Facebook page Sunday, and said officers were called to Starbucks in response to a medical emergency there at 12:37 p.m.

“The patrons at Starbucks said someone was in the bathroom for a long time and he was eventually found with a needle in his arm,” Nagel said. “That’s how he was found before we got there…”

The unidentified teen was from San Francisco, according to police, and was injecting heroin when he succumbed to the effects of the drug and fell unconscious. He was revived by medical personnel. 

Chief Nagel said the incident is the latest in a series of recent incidents in which his officers have encountered or arrested young people – all of them from San Francisco, according to the chief – who have apparently come to Orinda looking to fund their habit.

Most of the young users have been found with needle kits and have shown obvious signs of drug use, Nagel said. Some have had the drug on them, some don’t, and are shoplifting from local stores in order to support their habits. 


  1. I would like a authorities to REALLY press to find out who the drug provider is dealing to these kids. This young man, who almost died ,surely should be able to finger who he bought the drugs from. Sounds like the dealer is in Orinda. Please find the scum and lock them up!!!

    • Howdy, Greg… thanks for writing. Think you’re right in that these kids know who is selling to them but we also THINK they may be getting their dope in the city and bringing it with them while “shopping” in Orinda. Chief Nagel said his folks have just recently seen this develop so it sounds like the word is out in some circles that Orinda may be an “easy hit” for shoplifting stuff to sell for more drugs. We have no doubt that heroin is in Lamorinda and the rest of the 24/680 but it doesn’t sound like these latest visitors are coming here to score. Any LEOs out there know differently, please advise…

  2. Oh, thank you for that input.
    As you all probably know by now, I am very much against proposition 47, which allows people to steal up to $950 and have it be only a misdemeanor… now, another side effect of the law is the people that are hooked on drugs are no longer sent to rehab facilities to treat them, which is what was happening when they were charged with a felony- before proposition 47- and given the choice to help reduce their jail term.. now there either ticketed or just turned loose to go steal more than next day.
    I don’t see who this law has helped other than the State saving millions on jail costs…. but Society is now paying the price.

  3. @Greg: should we punish the dealer for selling a product that was “better” than expected? People generally OD because potency and purity vary widely (easy to fix). People steal because drugs are expensive (easy to fix). The war on drugs did not serve this young man well, and did not serve his victims of petty theft. Making something a felony doesn’t help the perp. I do, however, agree that we should focus more on rehab for addicts. Why not use some of the incarceration SAVINGS from Prop 47 to fund that?

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