Grant County Sheriff’s Office Keeps Focus On Fentanyl, Overdoses
The Grant County Sheriff's Office is continuing its campaign to boost public awareness of the Fentanyl crisis.
Deputies say there were 92 overdose calls into 9-1-1 in the past year (August 2022-August 2023).
Grant County Sheriff's spokesperson Kyle Foreman says overdoses involving Fentanyl are commonplace.
"Every day we have overdose cases in Grant County that require intervention by EMTs, paramedics and law enforcement as well as hospital staff," said Foreman. "So, it's a continuing problem, not just in Grant County but across the nation. We just want to bring some attention to it."
Grant County deputies are advising the public about the licensed outpatient treatment organization Renew, which has programs for long-term addiction recovery through their Recovery Coaches. They're available at 509-765-9239, or on their 24-hour crisis line at 800-852-2923.
Deputies in Grant County have also been investigating seven controlled substance homicides since December.
Foreman says it’s a major felony when drug dealers are connected to overdose deaths.
“If we can establish that the drug trafficker or supplier or seller provided to the person who passed away, if we can establish that’s where it came from and that’s the cause of death, then we have a good chance of being able to seek charges of controlled substance homicide,” Foreman said.
Deputies in Grant County work with their Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Team (INET) to identify drug traffickers.
They've arrested at least one group of traffickers that were transferring drugs from western Washington into the Columbia Basin region.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, 68 percent of drug overdose deaths of state residents involve an opioid.
In 2019, the State of Washington had 827 deaths due to drug overdoses, a number which nearly doubled to 1,619 in 2021. That was followed by a 22 percent increase in overdose deaths from 2021 to 2022.