Yakima in Favor of Narcan Vending Machines? The Debate Continues
Would you support the opening of Narcan Vending Machines in Yakima? Many of the machines are open around the state including in King County and nearby Klickitat County.
OFFICIALS SAY MORE LIVES COULD BE SAVED WITH MORE ACCESS TO NARCAN
54 people have died of a drug overdose in Yakima County so far this year. Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice says the numbers are growing. The overdose number was 46 just last month. Dr. Gillian Zuckerman is a family doctor in Yakima who helps and treats those with addictions to drugs like opioid or fentanyl. Zuckerman and others including Yakima County Sheriff Bob Udell believe more lives can be saved with Narcan, which can reverse opioid-induced overdoses.
MORE HELP ON THE WAY TO WASHINGTON STATE
Local health officials met last week with U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell to talk about the overdose problem and to discuss the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act. It's a bill to help stop money laundering and drug trafficking of the dangerous drugs that have killed thousands in Washington State.
THE DR. WOULD LIKE TO SEE VENDING MACHINES IN DOWNTOWN YAKIMA AND AT THE YAKIMA UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Dr. Zuckerman says she's in favor of safe injection sites where people could use drugs while being monitored by health professionals. She says however she doesn't think Yakima is ready for such a site. For now Zuckerman says she's in favor of opening vending machines in Yakima where people can obtain Narcan. She believes the machines need to be in areas where people could easily find the Narcan including areas downtown or on North First Street where many homeless live or spend time near the Yakima Union Gospel Mission.
NO DECISIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BUT THE DEBATE CONTINUES IN YAKIMA
Yakima Health District officials have been discussing the possibility of opening vending machines in specific areas of Yakima where people could access the life saving Narcan. But so far no decisions have been made and no specific areas have been named where the machines would be placed.
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