Not all of the big national news stories hit home or even seem that relevant to life in the Yakima Valley.

But the opioid crisis does.

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The statistics are bad and getting worse

Fentanyl is killer here just like it is across the country. The CDC says

new data documents that estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before. Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in the 12-month period ending in April 2021

Facebook Symposium Wednesday

That fact puts the Safe Yakima Valley organization into action hosting a live Facebook symposium tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16 from 9:30 to 10:30 at

Invited guests include

  •  Sheriff Robert Udell
  • County Coroner Jim Curtice
  • Emergency Physician, Dr. Raul Garcia
  • Substance abuse treatment expert, Leah Batty-Hibbs
  • School Counselor Lisa Acosta-Driscoll
  •  Eliza Powell from Northwest High-Intensity Drug Traffic Area
  • Also invited - is a local parent who is working to create safe activities for kids.
  • AND YOU!!!!

As Safe Yakima Valley puts it::



Multiple Meetings Reinforce The Message

The campaign is called A Journey to Hope and this first event will be moderated by Michelle Roberts, a drug intake specialist with Triumph Treatment, with more conversations to come.

The first topic for March is -  The Relationship Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness.

Follow-up conversations include in May - What’s the truth and what do we tell ourselves?

And in September - What Toolkit do youth and parents need to overcome pressure and make healthier decisions? What parental resources are available and what are the signs parents need to know to look for?

Deb Yergen shared her thoughts and plans for the campaign today on KIT's Morning News Radio.

And Safe Yakima Valley also wants to remind us all of how we can help keep drugs out of the community.

On April 23rd,  from 10 am to 1pm, Safe Yakima Valley will team up with Fiesta Foods to sponsor another "Drug Take Back" event in an effort to get expired, unused and dangerous drugs off the street. At the last event in October 2021…. the organization collected more than  200 POUNDS of drugs in 3 hours at the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.

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