Overdose Deaths Prompt Statement from SRHD

Overdose Deaths Prompt Statement from SRHD

Mar 10, 2016

Health officials urge individuals to know the signs of overdose; encourage community to rally around prevention, treatment

March 10, 2016  |  For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer (509) 324-1539 or kpapich@srhd.org

From Spokane Regional Health District Interim Health Officer, Dr. Joel McCullough:

“As officials learn more about the cause of recent overdose deaths, we encourage those suffering from addiction and those around them to know the signs of overdose including problems with body temperature, pulse rate, breathing or blood pressure, as well as sleepiness or coma, and chest pain. Please call 911 for immediate assistance as first responders and health care providers are well-equipped in our community to help individuals who have overdosed.

Although we do not yet know what the substance involved in these overdoses was, historically, with regard to heroin overdoses, the number of deaths has been trending down in Spokane County, so this would be a setback for our community. But, again, we do not know yet that heroin played a role in the recent deaths. Until then, it is an opportunity for the larger community to remember that drug use is a complex phenomenon, that these individuals are human, and to rally around prevention and support services for users who are struggling.”

Spokane Regional Health District staff can provide data on opioid use and misuse in our community, including a recent report found here. The health district also offers programs and resources for those struggling with use, including our Opioid Treatment: http://www.srhd.org/services/opioid.asp, and Needle Exchange programs: http://www.srhd.org/services/nep.asp. Spokane County also offers this list of resources.

More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. SRHD’s website offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.