A news release from the Washington State Department of Health Tuesday begins with an interesting, or perhaps ominous statement:

"To help save lives, health officials urge people to carry naloxone and know overdose signs"

The DOH says we are on pace to break the record for narcotic overdose deaths in 2021, surpassing the mark through the first 3 months of 2020, which was just as the pandemic was beginning.

For the first three months of 2020, there were 378 overdose deaths, many related to Fentanyl abuse, from January through March. This year, that number stands at 418.

Why is DOH Saying People Should Carry Naloxone?

It's more commonly known as Narcan, and most law enforcement field officers carry a Narcan 'pen' to help if they come across an overdose victim.

The DOH says 46% of these deaths are related to Fentanyl, which is one of the deadliest narcotics on the streets. Commonly known as the little blue pill, or often marked with an "M" these drugs are many times more powerful than heroin, morphine or other such drugs.

The Department of Health has issued cryptic warnings for citizens, saying if they or someone they know are going to utilize such drugs, they should carry a Narcan antidote. They also released this alarming advice:

  • "Use with someone else whenever possible. If you can’t or don’t want to use with someone, consider calling Never Use Alone: (800) 484-3731."
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Perhaps this is in reaction to the state legislature shockingly relaxing drug laws in our state. It's now far more difficult (some say nearly impossible) for law enforcement to arrest or prosecute persons for drug charges. Although the amounts of the now legal narcotic possession laws are rather small, it sets a tone that Police, Sheriffs and anti-drug advocates say makes it seem 'alright' to abuse them.

DOH also included this alarming statement about how the age scale for drug overdose deaths is skewing younger:

 "One concerning trend is the prevalence of young adult mortality; of the fentanyl related deaths, 55 were under 30 years of age."

Nowhere in this release is there any acknowledgment of the effects that COVID lockdowns, policies, and stress have had on drug abuse rates.

 

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