Rantz: Public Health promotes ‘fentanyl parties,’ Undersheriff claims they’re happening

Feb 9, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: 7:21 am
fentanyl parties...
King County Undersheriff Jesse Anderson says he’s hearing about so-called “fentanyl parties” where addicts purposefully overdose, with a friend ready to administer Narcan. (Left: Photo by Agnes BUN/AFP via Getty Images; Right: Graphic from Seattle-King County Public Health)
(Left: Photo by Agnes BUN/AFP via Getty Images; Right: Graphic from Seattle-King County Public Health)

King County Undersheriff Jesse Anderson says he’s hearing about so-called “fentanyl parties” where addicts purposefully overdose, with a friend ready to administer Narcan. While Anderson’s claim is purely anecdotal, it makes complete sense. Seattle-King County Public Health provides step-by-step instructions on how to have the party.

“I’m hearing that they actually have parties out there where people put themselves into a situation where they do overdose, so their friends can bring them back to life administering Narcan. That’s a heck of a gamble,” Anderson told reporter Sam Campbell at sister station KIRO Newsradio.

The news may shock those unfamiliar with Seattle and King County’s permissive drug policy. The city and county stopped enforcing drug laws well before state Democrats effectively legalized drugs legislatively. It has emboldened addicts who know they won’t suffer legal consequences, and drug dealers who know they have plenty of new targets to sell to. This culture has led to at least 68 fentanyl-related overdose deaths this year, as of Feb. 8, 2023.

Making matters worse? Public Health actively promotes fentanyl parties. They just don’t refer to them that way.

Rantz: Shocking ignorance as Seattle Public Health blames drug ODs on racism, drug laws

A how-to guide to getting high in groups

Public Health offers addicts directions on how to avoid a fentanyl overdose. But they’re not warning against using; they’re actively telling you to use with friends. It’s part of a “harm reduction” approach where, rather than engage in the difficult and costly strategy of treating addiction, public health officials try to make an addict’s deadly behavior slightly safer.

The resources by Public Health tell addicts to avoid using fentanyl alone and then “start with a tester shot” because fentanyl could be more powerful than the addict expects. Public Health suggests you bring friends over and “watch and wait before the next person uses.” They even tell you to “have Naloxone ready,” with a list of locations to get the potentially life-saving drug for free. All the way at the end of its fentanyl flyer, it tells you that “treatment works,” though it’s not a particularly hard sell.

(Graphic via King County-Seattle Public Health)

“They’re pushing themselves to the limit and knowing that there could be consequences of them becoming unconscious and potentially dying but trusting their people that are with so-called friends or whatever to bring them back to life,” Anderson explained, almost as if he was critiquing the fentanyl guide from Public Health.

Anderson’s claim is easy to dismiss because it’s impossible to prove without leaning on anecdotal evidence. A drug overdose call wouldn’t be coded internally as a “fentanyl party” by a responding agency. A spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department, for example, confirmed to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that it’s “not something we would track overall in our system. We have individual patient reports for incidents, but not reports like law enforcement would have when responding to situations like this.”

But when you have literal documents from Public Health telling people how to engage in what could easily be described as a fentanyl party, I’m not sure you need much more than anecdotes to see his claims as either likely or probable.

Rantz: Seattle running out of dead body storage due to fentanyl ODs

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Public Health promotes ‘fentanyl parties,’ Undersheriff claims they’re happening