2020 was a deadly year in Yakima County with a high number of overdose deaths.  Officials with the Yakima County Coroners Office say 69 people died of a drug overdose last year with 42 of the deaths the result of the deadly drug fentanyl. 50 people died of an overdose in all of 2019 in Yakima County. 38 overdosed and died in 2018. It's an ongoing problem in Yakima County and authorities are very concerned. Yakima County Prosecutor Joe
Brusic is part of a state opioid/fentanyl Outreach Committee that's made up of state officials, law enforcement and prosecutors. The committee is trying to educate communities about the dangers of fentanyl that have killed hundreds of young people in the state in the last five years. Brusic says the problem is that many young people buying street drugs like opioids don't know the pills they're buying are actually deadly fentanyl. They're called Blue-30's on the street. Brusic urges everyone including parents to watch for the Blue-30 pills, small blue pills with the number 30 stamped on the top. The pills are laced with deadly amounts of Fentanyl that can result in a fatal overdose.

According to the University of Washington the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that 81,230 Americans succumbed to drug overdoses in the year that ended in May 2020. It’s the most U.S. overdoses ever for a 12-month span.
The report largely attributed the rise to illegally manufactured fentanyl, an opioid often counterfeited to resemble oxycodone pills. Fentanyl’s danger lies in its potency: 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. In 2020, fentanyl overtook methamphetamine as the drug most involved in overdoses in Washington state."