Kennewick officials unveil Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Project in an effort to save lives
KENNEWICK, Wash. – A different kind of health crisis is emerging during this pandemic.
Federal, state and local officials announced on Thursday what they are doing to combat the use of illegal fentanyl circulating in our communities. During a press conference at the Kennewick Police Department, officials spoke on the importance of the new interagency Opioid Fentanyl Outreach Project.
“The point of this is in 2020 we seized over 11 kilos of fentanyl in Eastern Washington, and that equates to more than 5.5 million doses of fentanyl,” said Keith Weis, Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid product and for years it has been prescribed by physicians legally for pain relief, but it’s been also been distributed as a street drug. Officials say the drug is being trafficked in our area on a daily basis.
According to Weis, per the CDC, in 2019 more than 71,000 lives were lost in the United States as a result of drug overdoses, and approximately 51% of those deaths were attributed to fentanyl and synthetic opioids.
This Saturday, October 24 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The Tri-Cities is sponsoring socially distanced “Drug Take Back” sites from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More information about Drug Take Back Day and locations in the Tri-Cities are available at www.deatakeback.com