Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities

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  • Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Monday, August 31 2009 8:46 PM EDT2009-09-01 00:46:00 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. Robert Elfinger, with Walgreens Media Relations, says that pharmacy robberies are 'a phenomenon in Washington' in that the state only has 120 to 130 Walgreens' pharmacies, but sees many more robberies than Texas, a state with more than 600 pharmacies.>>

OLYMPIA, Wash.- In Washington, and 15 other states, drugs now kill more people than auto accidents do. That's according to a new government study that looked at death certificates from the last three years. Experts say the startling shift reflects two opposite trends: Driving is becoming safer, and the legal and illegal use of powerful prescription painkillers is on the rise.

For decades, traffic accidents have been the biggest cause of injury-related death in the U.S., and they are still No. 1. But drug overdoses are pulling ahead in one state after another. The drug-related death rate roughly doubled from the late 1990s to 2006, according to the most recent CDC data. 

The number of states in which drug-related deaths have overtaken traffic fatalities has gone from eight in 2003 to 12 in 2005, and 16 in 2006. They are: Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. 

It's not clear why those states have seen such a shift, but experts said certain drugs may be more of a problem in some states than in others. While cocaine and heroin continue to be significant killers, most of the increase is attributed to prescription opiates such as the painkillers methadone, Oxycontin and Vicodin. 

From 1999 to 2006, death rates for such medications climbed for every age group. Deaths from methadone alone increased sevenfold, according to the CDC. It's not all black market stuff, either. About half of the opiate medication deaths in King County, Wash., which includes Seattle, involved people who got their drugs through legal prescriptions, said Caleb Banta-Green, a University of Washington research scientist. 

Using death certificate data, CDC researchers counted more than 45,000 U.S. deaths nationwide from traffic accidents in 2006, and about 39,000 from drug-induced causes.
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  • Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:51 PM EDT2018-07-20 17:51:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

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    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

    >>
  • Death toll from Missouri duck boat accident climbs to 17

    Death toll from Missouri duck boat accident climbs to 17

    Friday, July 20 2018 3:51 PM EDT2018-07-20 19:51:29 GMT

    BRANSON, Mo. - Divers found four more bodies Friday in a Missouri lake where a duck boat packed with tourists capsized and sank in high winds, bringing the death toll to 17 in the country-and-western town of Branson, authorities said.

    >>

    BRANSON, Mo. - Divers found four more bodies Friday in a Missouri lake where a duck boat packed with tourists capsized and sank in high winds, bringing the death toll to 17 in the country-and-western town of Branson, authorities said.

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  • Hayden man arrested for hate crime following fight with youth pastor

    Hayden man arrested for hate crime following fight with youth pastor

    Friday, July 20 2018 2:36 AM EDT2018-07-20 06:36:38 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - On July 12, officers responded to a large fight at a Coeur d'Alene McDonald's. Court documents say a Hayden man was charged with battery and malicious harassment, which is considered a hate crime in Idaho, following an investigation by police.  When officers arrived on scene, the fight had broken up, but witnesses were interviewed at the scene.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - On July 12, officers responded to a large fight at a Coeur d'Alene McDonald's. Court documents say a Hayden man was charged with battery and malicious harassment, which is considered a hate crime in Idaho, following an investigation by police.  When officers arrived on scene, the fight had broken up, but witnesses were interviewed at the scene.

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