A Record Number Have Died in Yakima County So Far This Year
A record number of people have died of drug overdoses so far in 2021 and the year isn't over yet. Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice says 95 people have died of overdoses, up from 87 nearly two weeks ago.
Curtice says those who are buying "Blue 30" pills are at risk of death
Curtice says at least half of the deaths are directly connected to the deadly drug Fentanyl. He says 95 overdoses is the largest number of overdose deaths the his office has ever seen. Overdoses are tough to predict and even tougher to prevent. Curtice says the best thing everyone can do today is to look for the unused or expired medications in medicine cabinets and dispose of them. That way says Curtice young people and others can't find the drugs. Especially pain medications. He says many of the overdoses are in people who have taken what are called "blue 30" pills. Small blue pills with the number 30 printed on them that are laced with Fentanyl.
Yakima Police do what they can to prevent overdoses
Yakima Police are doing all they can to prevent the drugs from hitting the streets of the city. In fact in October Drug Enforcement Agency agents and Yakima Police Department DEA Task Force Officers arrested a 31-year-old Yakima woman for her connection with what Yakima Police call the “overdose homicide” of 47-year-old Brian Ziegler.
As previously reported the "Yakima man was found dead on July 11 at his home in the 7700 block of Westbrook Avenue. An investigation found he died from an overdose of the drug Fentanyl. That’s when DEA agents and Yakima Police Department DEA Task Force Officers took over the investigation, which led them to the 31-year-old female, who they believe delivered the Fentanyl to Ziegler. The woman, who hasn’t been identified is now in the Yakima County jail. She faces charges of drug delivery and controlled substance homicide."
So far this year the number is larger than any other year
While it’s been a deadly year so far this year the number of overdose deaths in Yakima County last year were high as well.
In 2020 73 people died of overdoses.
50 people died of an overdose in all of 2019 in Yakima County. 38 overdosed and died in 2018.
Today the number stands at 95 and Curtice says it's likely the number will grow larger before the end of the year.
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