Local library adds opioid addiction resources

KATIE SHADLER, The Daily Evergreen

The Whitman County Library has just added eBooks and audiobooks about opioid addiction in response to the recent deaths and arrests in Whitman County.

The collection consists of 69 titles called “Dealing with Addiction” and were donated by Overdrive, an online ebook and audiobook company. The collection is featured on the main page of Overdrive’s catalog in addition to the library’s website.

There was seven opioid deaths in Whitman County between 2013 and 2015 with an additional five between 2016 and 2017, according to a Pullman Police Department news release.

The Daily Evergreen previously reported three of these deaths in the past year being comprised of students overdosing on alprazolam (Xanax), methadone and fentanyl.

The National Center for Health Statistics reported the number of overdose deaths involving opioids, including prescription opioids and heroin, has quadrupled since 1999.

The Federal Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis reported approximately 142 Americans die every day from the current opioid crisis with death tolls equivalent to Sept. 11 every three weeks.

In late July, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency regarding the opioid crisis and many communities including Pullman have taken action.

Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said the issue is fairly new, but Pullman Police have already implemented Narcon nasal spray which counteracts immediate opioid overdoses.

Pullman PD officers will administer the spray when a person is in severe distress from an apparent opioid and medical attention hasn’t arrived yet.

He said though there was a large increase in opioid-related cases last spring, the amount of cases over the summer decreased significantly.
However, he suspected this change was due to a decrease of students during the summer and believed the cases will continue to increase because of the epidemic.

Tennant suggested students in party-situations stay away from substances they are unfamiliar with.
He also encouraged the community to become educated about opioids and says there’s no shame in seeking help from a doctor to combat opioid addiction.

Reported by Katie Shadler