It’s a Deadly Year So Far in Yakima With Drug Overdoses
Fentanyl is crossing the U.S. Mexican border and local authorities say a lot of the drug is making its way into the Yakima Valley. Many people are using the drug and some are overdosing.
YAKIMA SET THE BAR HIGH IN 2021
A record 98 overdose deaths kept authorities busy in Yakima County in 2021. Last year the record wasn't broken but still 81 people lost thier lives to drug overdoses in Yakima County. Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice says about half of the deaths were connected to the deadly drug fentanyl. Today the number of suspected overdose deaths stands at 26 up from 12 overdose deaths reported in February of this year. Curtice says along with drug overdoses he's investigated 18 homicides in the county so far this year and 20 fatal vehicle crashes. He says many of the drivers were impaired. Curtice says 11 suicides have been reported in the county so far this year.
NOW AUTHORITIES HAVE ANOTHER WORRY
As previously reported local and state authorities say they're concerned about a "sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. Xylazine, also known as “Tranq,” is a powerful sedative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved for veterinary use."
Curtice says so far he hasn't seen any "Tranq" overdoses in Yakima but he says that doesn't mean it's not here.
THE HIDDEN KILLER TAKES LIVES EVERYDAY IN WASHINGTON STATE
He says fentanyl continues to be the hidden killer in many drugs including the popular blue 30 pills of which he says many are laced with the deadly drug but are sold on the street as Percocete or other less harmful drugs.
SOME IN THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY ARE ALSO IMPACTED
FOX News reports that drugs sold in Mexico like Percocete and other drugs needed for pain have been found to be laced with fentanyl. Police say many people who thought they were taking one kind of drug were killed by drugs laced with fentanyl.
Some of the overdoses last year included Yakima's homeless population.
All total 75 people considered homeless died of Yakima streets last year from a variety of causes including drug overdoses.