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Drug Overdose in Yakima County
Drug overdose has become a growing public health concern in Yakima County. In 2021, 98 residents died of a drug overdose, representing a 34% increase from the 73 deaths reported in 2020. Most overdose deaths have involved opioids, specifically fentanyl.
What are opioids?
Opioids are a class of drugs commonly used to reduce pain. Opioids can be highly addictive and can lead to overdose if used in high amounts.
Common types of opioids include:
- Prescription opioids such as Oxycodone, Morphine, and Vicodin.
What makes fentanyl more dangerous?
Fentanyl is many times more powerful than other opioids. Because it can be mixed into other drugs, many individuals consume it without meaning to, which can cause accidental overdose or death.
Quick facts about fentanyl
- 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
- Can be prescribed to treat severe pain, but is also made and used illegally.
- Illegally made fentanyl can be sold as powder, liquid, or pills that look like prescription opioids.
- Often added to other drugs such as meth and cocaine.
- You can't see, taste or smell fentanyl.
What is naloxone?
Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a safe medication that can reverse an overdose from opioids.
When should you administer naloxone?
If you suspect someone if experiencing a drug overdose, call 911 right away and administer naloxone. If you seek medical assistance in a drug-related overdose, you and the victim cannot be arrested for drug possession.
Signs of an overdose
- Extremely slow breathing or heavy snoring
- Confusion or difficulty being awakened
- Blue lips or skin
- Very small pupils
Who should get naloxone?
Anyone can legally obtain and administer naloxone. However, you should keep naloxone at home if you or someone you know:
- Uses prescription opioids
- Uses illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl
- Uses other drugs such as meth or cocaine
Naloxone is available with a prescription or under the statewide standing order, which allows anyone to obtain naloxone at a pharmacy without a prescription. Medicaid and most health insurance cover the costs of naloxone.
Use this map to find a pharmacy near you that distributes naloxone
Make sure to call ahead to check availability and cost.