SEATTLE – King County has issued a warning on fentanyl circulating in the area, now in the form of white powder.
The county says in the past two weeks, several people have overdosed from fentanyl-laced powder.
To prevent the risk of overdose, officials urge people to keep Narcan on hand, avoid mixing drugs and keep an eye on friends who might be doing drugs. If you suspect someone is suffering from an overdose, call 911 immediately.
Western Washington has seen a troubling uptick in drug crimes in recent years. In September, King County confirmed 217 fentanyl overdoses in 2021, up from a then record-setting 172 in 2020. The spike in overdoses mirrored others across the country, and prompted the Drug Enforcement Administration to issue a public safety alert.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Western Washington also announced in late September a 275% increase in fentanyl arrests between 2020 and 2021. This included 16 arrests in a multi-state drug distribution ring, where agents seized more than 100,000 fentanyl pills, more than 150 pounds of methamphetamine and close to two-dozen guns. Arrests were made in New York, California, and Washington cities like Kent, Bremerton, Belfair, Spanaway, Tacoma and Port Orchard.
Nationally, fentanyl overdoses have become the number one cause of death in adults age 18–45.
For more information, visit the King County website.
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