Fentanyl. (Courtesy photo)

Fentanyl. (Courtesy photo)

King County reports record numbers of drug overdose deaths

Preliminary toxicology testing shows most overdose victims used multiple types of drugs.

Public Health – Seattle & King County announced it has recorded 42 suspected or confirmed overdose deaths in the last two weeks, the highest number of overdose deaths ever documented by the county in a two-week period.

The 42 deaths from Dec. 27, 2020, to Jan. 9, 2021, are more than double the average number of weekly fatal overdoses throughout much of 2020, according to a Public Health – Seattle & King County blog post.

Half of the overdose victims were between the ages of 36 to 55, and 45 percent of the overdoses were female, a percentage that Public Health says is higher than usual.

According to the blog post, preliminary testing has found that the majority of the recent overdoses involved multiple types of drugs.

Preliminary testing also found that 17 fatal overdoses likely involved methamphetamine and seven likely involved fentanyl, lethal drugs that public health officials say killed hundreds in King County during 2020.

“It is more important than ever to check on those who you think may be struggling, either with stress, anxiety, depression, other behavioral health issues or increase in drug misuse,” said Brad Finegood, strategic advisor for behavioral health in Seattle and King County, via press release.

To seek treatment for drug use disorder, call the Washington Recovery Hotline for treatment resources at 1-866-789-1511 or visit www.warecoveryhelpline.org.




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