Picture of King County Sheriff showing a 30M pill, Issaquah Reporter
Tigger Warning: drug overdose
Fentanyl overdoses and deaths are a pressing issue all around the world, in our city, and in our school. Young people are profoundly impacted by the presence of fentanyl in our community because they lack the information and resources to educate themselves to avoid exposure to this lethal drug. According to the CDC, fentanyl is the most common drug that people overdose on. This is because of how strong and hard to detect it is. Statistics from the King County Prosecuting Office state that over 150 people die every day from fentanyl overdoses. In King County alone 685 people died from fentanyl in 2022.
There are two different types of fentanyl: one that can save someone’s life (pharmaceutical fentanyl) and one that can kill someone (illicitly manufactured fentanyl). Illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) can be found in different forms and can be mixed with anything from recreational drugs to pills that look like prescription opioids. Street names for IMF are apache, dance fever, friend, Goodfellas, jackpot, murder 8, and tango & cash.
Because of how dangerous fentanyl is, it’s important to know how to detect an overdose. You can find details on the CDC website on how to detect an overdose, but please be warned that it provides graphic details of overdose.
In Washington State, the Good Samaritan Law states that you have “immunity from liability for certain types of medical care” which in the fine print covers that you cannot be charged with a drug-related crime if you report an overdose. While waiting for help, if you can, administer Naloxone. This can be accessed around The Northwest School and is a drug that can reverse an overdose. There is formal training for administering Naloxone from in-person and online resources, such as the National Drug Court Institute or at local hospitals.
One prevention method is to test your drugs with fentanyl strips. To get accurate and professional information about this you can visit the Department of Health website to learn how to use them and where to get them around The Northwest School. Finally, if you want to learn more about fentanyl and harm reduction in general make sure to come to the guest speaker on substance misuse prevention this spring on March 28th and 29th. More information about the guest speakers will be released as the dates approach.