LOCAL NEWS

Rise in fentanyl overdoses has Pacific Northwest ‘under siege’ from cartel, says DEA

Mar 3, 2021, 11:05 AM
Fentanyl overdose, opioids...
Fentanyl continues to be one of the leading causes behind Washington's opioid crisis. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

With Washington state recently reporting a staggering increase in fentanyl-related overdoses in the last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) believes a Mexican-based cartel could be to blame.

Fentanyl overdoses in Washington see ‘stunning’ increase in 2020

The second quarter of 2020 saw 171 fentanyl-involved overdoses in Washington, according to data cited by Caleb Banta-Green, a research scientist with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington.

Over that same period in 2019, Washington saw just 63 fentanyl overdoses; two years prior to that, there were 18.

As for why that’s occurring, the DEA points to the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG).

“The Pacific Northwest of the United States is under siege by the Mexican based CJNG cartel who is flooding the region with clandestine produced synthetic opioids in the form of prescription pills,” it said in a report released on Tuesday.

The DEA says the CJNG is also mixing fentanyl into other illicit substances, like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, and then distributing those tainted drugs across the United States.

Fentanyl is anywhere from 30 to 50 times as strong as pure heroin, and a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal.

The context behind fentanyl overdoses in Washington state

On a larger scale, the DEA believes that Mexican transnational criminal organizations “remain the greatest criminal drug threat in the United States.”

A previous uptick in fentanyl deaths in Washington was attributed by the DEA to an influx of tainted prescription pills from China. That was mitigated “substantially” by enforcement actions taken by both the United States and China on either end of the distribution chain, but illicit opioids remain a concern.

According to the DEA, there were over 83,000 total drug-related overdose deaths nationwide in a one year period between July 2019 and July 2020, representing a sizable increase from the previous year, where over 70,000 overdose deaths were reported.

Local News

Seattle council, police reform...
Nick Bowman

From taxes to police reform: Seattle council begins work on 2022 wishlist for state lawmakers

Seattle City Council will begin work this week on an early draft of their priorities for the state's upcoming 2022 legislative session. 
10 hours ago
Light rail, Sound Transit...
MyNorthwest Staff

Sound Transit investigating incident where passengers on disabled train walked into tunnels

Sound Transit will be conducting an investigation into an incident where a stopped train led to passengers exiting into the tunnels.
10 hours ago
Flooding, Whatcom County...
KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Whatcom County under voluntary evacuation as concerns over flooding persist

Whatcom County is under a voluntary evacuation notice this morning over concerns with more potential flooding as rain continues this week.
10 hours ago
Kent shootings...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Kent mayor issues statement after several shootings in same area

After several days of gun violence on Kent’s West Hill, the city’s mayor issued a statement Sunday.
10 hours ago
comic con...
MyNorthwest Staff

Emerald City Comic Con returns Dec. 2-5 after being cancelled in 2020

Emerald City Comic Con didn't happen in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the popular four-day event returns to Seattle on Dec. 2-5.
1 day ago
Whatcom County...
MyNorthwest Staff

Forecasters downgrade flood warning for Skagit River

The National Weather Service in Seattle has downgraded the flood peak for the Skagit River.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Rise in fentanyl overdoses has Pacific Northwest ‘under siege’ from cartel, says DEA