Four deaths, 20 overdoses attributed to fentanyl in Ellensburg in 2021

Ellensburg

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Non-pharmaceutical opioid use has caused a growing trend of overdoses in communities throughout the nation. Now, the Ellensburg Police Department (EPD) is attempting to prevent further overdose deaths as the city faces a record-pace for drug-related incidents.

According to a press release issued by the EPD, there have been 20 calls for overdoses this year alone including three in the past weekend. Despite the best efforts of emergency responders from the EPD and Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue, four people in Ellensburg have died from overdoses so far this year.

Three of those deaths are confirmed to have been caused by fentanyl – an extremely dangerous synthetic drug that’s more commonly blended with other drugs. The fourth death is expected to have been fentanyl-associated, per EPD officials. This matches the city’s total of four overdose deaths in 2020 and doubles its 2019 total of two overdose deaths.

RELATED: Yakima man caught with more than 85lbs of drugs in Oregon, according to OSP

In many cases, counterfeit prescription drugs sold in the streets are laced with fentanyl. It’s also commonly mixed with other recreational drugs like methamphetamine and heroin, which can trigger an overdose.

Ellensburg police officers and their Anti-Crime Team have aggressively pursued street-level drug dealers and higher-level drug traffickers supplying laced drugs in the region. In only a month’s time, EPD officers and other regional law enforcement have arrested four suspects on 18 separate delivery charges.

Local authorities provided the following resources for people suffering from drug addiction:

  • 24 CRISIS LINE: 509-925-4168
  • HOPESOURCE: 509-925-1448
  • SUNDOWN M RANCH TREATMENT PROGRAM 509-457-0990
  • DSHS-HEALTH INSURANCE: 509-933-6100
  • ASPEN-DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: 866-925-9384
  • TREATMENT/ DETOX: CMH 509-925-9861
  • MERIT-SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS: 509-925-9821
  • RECOVERY ADVOCATE: Dr. David Douglas – 509-306-9910

Not only are these resources impactful in preventing overdoses, but they may assist in finding a pathway to recovery for addicts who want to change their lives.

RECENT NEWS HEADLINES FROM THE KAPP-KVEW NEWS STAFF:

RELATED: Kennewick police find fentanyl-contaminated foil, warns public of potential dangers