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The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday, April 13, released some new alarming data.

  Drug overdose deaths in 2021 were over 2,000 in WA

The DOH says overdose deaths climbed over 2,000 persons, and that figure is up 66 percent over 2019 data.

According to the data, the deaths are most prevalent among men 45-years of age or younger, and the fastest-growing rates were among  Latinos, blacks, and Native Americans.

Fentanyl was by far the fast-growing threat, and accounted for nearly half of the deaths. They've increased ten-fold since 2016, and often are found to be combined with other drugs, mostly meth.

Data and news reports confirm COVID contributed to this rise, we even discussed this over a year ago. In addition, the nation, and especially Pacific Northwest and West coast, are under assault from Mexican drug cartels who are flooding our region with drugs, especially fentanyl.

  Police 'reform' laws not helping the battle against drugs.

While we are not seeing the rampant explosion of violence in the Columbia Basin like they are in Seattle and King County, our Law Enforcement officials are feeling the pinch.  Part of the new Inslee-inspired "police reform" package pushed through by Democrats last year has put handcuffs on officers trying to battle drug-related crime.

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It also didn't help the State Supreme Court ruling on what's called the Blake Decision, where they de-criminalized certain levels of drug possession--including heroin, meth, and cocaine.

Franklin County Sheriff Jim Raymond even issued a public statement about how many drug rings were busted because a low-level person was nailed for possession. They used to be able to 'hold' that person and use their information to trace back to the dealer or supplier, but can't do that anymore.

Sadly, WA State AG Bob Ferguson's strongest action has been to go after pharmaceutical companies, blaming them for the opioid 'epidemic.'  He knows they have deep pockets, and this move has been seen as more a money grab for the state than battling our growing drug problems.

 

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