Representative Kim Schrier (WA-08) was in Wenatchee on Friday (August 18) for a roundtable discussion with local leaders regarding the fentanyl crisis.

The meeting, which was held at Wenatchee City Hall and closed to the public, included Chelan County Commissioner, Kevin Overbay; Wenatchee Valley Fire Department Chief, Brian Brett; Wenatchee School District Superintendent, Kory Kalahar; Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) Deputy Director, Kristen Hosey; CDHD Regional Emergency Response Coordinator, Kent Sisson; Wenatchee Police Department Chief, Steve Crown; Center for Drug and Alcohol Treatment Director, Loretta Stover; Chelan County Sheriff, Mike Morrison; and Chelan County Regional Justice Center Director, Chris Sharp.

After the proceedings, Schrier said the roundtable underscored just how dire the issues surrounding fentanyl have become.

"The need is enormous," stressed Schrier. "Right now, we do not have the capacity to treat everybody who is addicted. We need to shore up our ability to treat and also get way upstream and prevent people from having that first dose or taking that first pill."

Schrier added that she's been active recently in Washington D.C. by voting for numerous pieces of legislation aimed at stemming the crisis on several fronts.

She also says there are multiple new laws being considered to combat the fentanyl epidemic by working with partners across international lines.

"One of those is a way to train up law enforcement in other countries to get a hold of this (fentanyl) and stop its trafficking before it even reaches our borders. Another is through robust funding from our annual appropriations for border patrol to confiscate this (fentanyl) before it can flood our streets."

Schrier recently voted in favor of the HALT Fentanyl Act, which passed through Congress in May and designates the drug as a Schedule 1 substance, which is a classification given to those with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

She also co-sponsored the Invest to Protect Act, which became law last year and increased funding for small and rural law enforcement agencies.

The Wenatchee roundtable was the third such event regarding the fentanyl crisis Schrier has taken part in this year within her district.

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