Yakima Losing Lives As The Nation Battles Drug Overdoses
Overdose deaths continue at a record pace in the United States. New information shows a big increase in overdose deaths linked to fentanyl and methamphetamine. The United States saw a 15 percent increase in deaths from overdoses in 2021 over 2020 to 107,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The overdose death numbers change every week in Yakima County
Yakima County Coroner Jim Curtice says so far 26 people have died of overdoses in Yakima County with 60 to 70 percent suspected of overdosing on fentanyl. The number was 23 just 9 days ago. He says last year Yakima County saw a record 98 overdoses with half connected to the deadly drug fentanyl. The number was 23 just 9 days ago.
Statewide the number of deaths increased in 2021
It's not just a problem in Yakima it's a big problem throughout the state. Officials with the Washington State Department of Health say 2,000 people died of drug overdoses in the state in 2021 which is a 66% increase over 2019.
Local authorities are always looking for people who sell the deadly drugs on the streets of Yakima. In March members of the Yakima Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force arrested a 28-year-old man and siezed thousands of fentanyl pills and other drugs. During the arrest in Yakima police say they were able to seize some 77,000 fentanyl pills, $17,000 in cash along with other drugs and firearms.
Curtice says the number of drug related deaths have been increasing in Yakima County for years and he expects the numbers to grow in Yakima throughout the spring and summer.
Authorities in Yakima and throughout the country blame an increase in drugs
Yakima Police and Yakima County Sheriff's Officials agree that the increase in fentanyl and methamphetamine deaths is a direct result of an increase of drugs entering the United States through the U.S. southern border.
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