New Overdose Data Suggest Epidemic Outpacing Response

In the US, more people now die each year from drug overdoses than died at the peak of the AIDS epidemic, more than died during the entire Vietnam War. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years of age, and the epidemic cost the US an estimated $117 billion in 2017 alone.  Here are some key findings from our report and my perspective on actions we need to take in order to see this epidemic come under control.

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Medical Examiner’s Report: What we learned from those we lost in 2016

Last year, 14,373 people died in King County. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) investigated those deaths that were sudden, unexpected or unnatural – 2,494* in total. But, the count of life lost is more than a number. By tracking and analyzing different manners of death as well as trends in homicides, traffic fatalities, […]

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Illicit fentanyl found locally in fake opioid pills

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office received results from the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory late last week that what looked like a bag of oxycodone pills came back positive for fentanyl. The large amount of fake pills were found on a decedent in King County. While the cause of death of the individual is […]

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Witnessing an overdose? Don’t be afraid to call 911

Special series: Community voices on overdose prevention – An interview with Captain Bryan Howard, King County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, August 31, is International Overdose Prevention Day. This week, we are sharing community perspectives on preventing overdose and addiction. We talked with Captain Bryan Howard – King County Sheriff’s Office, to learn about the Good Samaritan Law, naloxone […]

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Acetylfentanyl-laced cocaine may have killed two in King County

Update 7/20/16: Additional information provided by law enforcement concludes that the cocaine was not laced with acetylfentanyl at the point of purchase but that it likely was mixed after it was obtained. Original post: This week, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies on two women who apparently died from cocaine that may have been contaminated […]

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