Earlier this month, three men died from accidental fentanyl overdoses within hours of each other and within the same vicinity of each other in south Renton. This led to King County health officials to issue a warning about the drug, saying that people should avoid buying painkillers off the street or online.
Location of Overdoses Unusual
According to one Public Health Seattle-King County official, "It's fairly irregular when we have that many people die within a short period of time in the same geographic vicinity." Authorities have speculated that the three men got their pills from the same source. One of the victims was known to have been buying Percoset off the streets of Renton to manage his pain.
Fentanyl has been showing up on the streets of King County more and more often lately in the form of fake oxycodone or Percoset pills. Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic opioid that can kill a person from just a few specks.
Fentanyl in King County
In 2019, fentanyl was involved in more overdoses than prescription opioid or cocaine deaths. So far this year, 10 people have died from fentanyl overdoses and another 19 deaths are awaiting final toxicology results. As a comparison, only five people died from fentanyl overdoses five years ago, but 106 died just last year.
Good Samaritan Law
The good news is that overdoses are preventable, but a person has to act fast. Washington's progressive laws have been designed to help prevent or treat an overdose. In August 2019, the Department of Health signed an order for naloxone to be available in pharmacies across the state. Naloxone reverses the symptoms of an overdose and saves lives. A person does not have to have a prescription for naloxone to get it, and Medicaid will cover most of the cost of it. Naloxone is also available at most health clinics, treatment facilities, and injection sites.
Washington's Good Samaritan Law also protects people who call in to report an overdose, even if they are in possession of drugs themselves. Brad Finegood of Public Health Seattle-King County said, "Our law enforcement friends are much more concerned with saving a life than they are prosecution, so we encourage everybody, if they witness an overdose, not only do you use naloxone but the first thing you need to do is call 911."
VUCSA Drug Defense
Unfortunately, fentanyl is on the streets of Seattle and elsewhere throughout the state, and it is silently killing many who weren't even aware they were taking it. If you have struggled with addiction or know someone who has who is facing serious drug charges, the Law Offices of Steve Karimi are here to help. Contact them today to get started on a free consultation of your case to get you on the road of recovery.