Overdose Deaths on The Rise in Yakima County
The Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice is sounding the alarm about overdose deaths in Yakima County. Curtice says they're on the rise and he's hoping parents and others can help by educating young people about the dangers of street drugs.
Curtice says 2020 was a deadly year in Yakima County with more overdose deaths in the county than the previous two years. Last year Curtice says 75 people died of a drug overdose with half being related to the deadly drug fentanyl. 50 people died of an overdose in all of 2019 in Yakima County. 38 overdosed and died in 2018.
So far this year Curtice says 36 people have died of an overdose with 9 related to fentanyl. He also says he has 11 cases in which toxicology tests are still pending.
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.
Don't miss our conversation with Jim Curtice at 7:45 Friday morning, May 7 on KIT. He has warnings for parents and others who want to help make a difference.