Opioid overdoses have increased by 200% between 2019 and 2020 in Clark County, and health officials say the spike may be linked to fentanyl.
In 2019 there were 13 deaths from opioid overdoses, while in 2020 there were 39 deaths. Many of the overdoses happened between November 15-21 and involved people ages 18 to 44, according to Washington’s Department of Health.
Officials said fentanyl appears to be the primary substance in the overdoses recorded. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be added during the production of other illicit drugs.
“Anyone who uses powdered drugs or takes pills that were not given to them by a pharmacy should assume they contain fentanyl,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health director.