Fentanyl Crisis Behind Record Homeless Death Toll in Seattle

Fentanyl Crisis Behind Record Homeless Death Toll in Seattle
High Times

People living in homeless conditions in Seattle, Washington are dropping dead left and right, mostly thanks to fentanyl and its knack for causing sudden death by overdose. Seattle Times reports that according to medical examiner records, a record-setting 310 people died while homeless in Seattle and throughout King County, Washington during 2022. Over half of those deaths, or 160 of them, are fentanyl overdose-related. That means that fentanyl-related deaths amounted to more than accidents, natural deaths, homicide, suicide, pending, and undetermined deaths combined. The number reflects a 65% jump over 2021 and an increase of over 100 people from the previous record set in 2018, with 195 deaths. The shocking numbers are alarming public health officials in the area. REACH is an organization in Seattle battling homelessness, providing people with meals, healthcare, and drug addiction tools. “That’s just appalling,” Chloe Gale, policy and strategy vice president for REACH, told Seattle Times. An estimate of the scope of homelessness in the County last year found that 13,368 people were living outside. Previously, in December 2020 the area set a recent record for the most people dying without housing in a single month, with 29 deaths. In 2021, 188 people experiencing homelessness died.  Usually, it isn’t the cold that kills people who are living in homeless conditions. Examiners frequently found a combination of fentanyl and other drugs in the system of people who have overdoses, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. The end is nowhere in sight for public health officials. “Maybe we’re plateauing at a really bad rate and maybe it’s going to get worse,” said Brad Finegood, who heads an opioid and overdose response for Public Health, “I don’t know when it’s going to stop.”  Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said despite the rise in overdoses, his administration is…

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Source : Fentanyl Crisis Behind Record Homeless Death Toll in Seattle

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