People are overdosing in the state everyday from fentanyl laced drugs. In Yakima the number of suspected overdose deaths stands at 26 up from 12 overdose deaths reported in February of this year. In an effort to help keep more people alive and educate communities Rep. Dan Newhouse has launched the Central Washington Fentanyl Task Force an initiative aimed at combating the escalating fentanyl crisis impacting communities across Central Washington and the United States.

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LOTS OF EYES ON THE PROBLEM WITH EXPERTS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT

The Task Force is a working group led by Rep. Newhouse consisting of groups and individuals on the local and state levels who are on the front lines fighting the fentanyl crisis throughout Central Washington. Task Force members include law enforcement, addiction treatment groups, medical professionals, drug court officials, school resource officers, tribal leaders, elected officials, and community leaders.

NEWHOUSE SAYS IT'S TIME TO TAKE ACTION AND NOT STAND BY

“Today, we take a bold step forward in our unwavering fight against the fentanyl crisis that has inflicted immeasurable pain on our families and friends in Central Washington and the United States,” says Rep. Newhouse. “We cannot stand idly by while this deadly drug ravages our communities, claiming lives and tearing families apart. The Central Washington Fentanyl Task Force will be a powerful force for change, bringing together the best minds and resources to tackle the growing threat of fentanyl in our region. The devastating impact of the fentanyl crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and I thank all the dedicated groups and individuals who will join forces to combat this crisis. I am confident that this group will help protect and build a stronger Central Washington.”

THE TASK FORCE HAS A BIG JOB AHEAD

Newhouse says the "Central Washington Fentanyl Task Force will address the entire spectrum of issues tied to the fentanyl crisis, focusing on enforcement, education, prevention, and treatment. The group will plan to meet on a quarterly basis. The goal of the group will be to research, discuss, and execute well-informed initiatives that will do the following to address the fentanyl crisis in Central Washington:

Compile data from federal, state, and local communities to be able to accurately assess trends in the fentanyl crisis.

 

    Assess current resources available to the public and front line workers, and where potential shortcomings may exist.

 

    Discuss potential legislative action on the federal, state, and local levels.

 

    Help organizations and local leaders educate the public about the dangers of fentanyl and opportunities for treatment.

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